Supreme Court slams Govt for not doing enough on black money
The Supreme Court blasted the central government on Thursday for not being able to interrogate Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan and others in custody for hoarding black money despite having sufficient proof against them. HT reports.delhi Updated: Mar 04, 2011 01:45 IST
The Supreme Court blasted the central government on Thursday for not being able to interrogate Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan and others in custody for hoarding black money despite having sufficient proof against them.
"What the hell is going on in this country?" the court asked, virtually snubbing solicitor general Gopal Subramanium.
It also ordered the reinstatement of three Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, who had been allegedly transferred while probing the foreign exchange rules violation charges against Khan. The court called the transfers as unfortunate.
Khan, who is alleged to have stashed away around $8 billion in foreign banks, had been served a tax demand notice for Rs 50,000 crore. The court, while hearing a petition by lawyer Ram Jethmalani and some former bureaucrats on February 10 on black money being stashed away abroad, asked the government to ensure that Khan did not leave the country.
Raising questions over the time the ED had been taking to file its reports, it told Subramanium: “For how many years will the investigations by the Enforcement Directorate continue against Hasan Ali (Khan)?”
The bench told the government: "If the investigating agency is misleading you, it amounts to misleading the court."
A bench, comprising Justice B Sudershan Reddy and Justice SS Nijjar, also indicated that if the government failed to act, it would be compelled to appoint a special officer for supervising the probe. The bench granted time till Tuesday to the Centre to file its response.
The bench said, "There are instances when minor offenders are shot down for violating section 144 CrPC, but you don't take any action against these people. We’re sorry. All these people are now free.
"Does this man (Khan) deserve all the freedom? He tells the ED that he's unwell and he can't come, and you give him another date. And he then asks for another extension. Would you give the same privileges to someone charged with even a lesser crime?"