The government has rubbished the claims made by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a recent television interview that the largest amount of black money stashed away in secret Swiss accounts was from India.
“No cognizance can be taken on statements made without any evidence by a private party,” a senior official in the finance ministry told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity. “Why Assange is not disclosing the names, if he has the evidence,” the official questioned.
According to sources, the finance ministry has written to the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) enquiring about the development, but the latter reportedly stated that no action could be possible merely on the basis of Assange’s claims.
In an interview on April 26, Assange claimed that he had seen Indian names in a list of Swiss bank account holders. He didn’t reveal any names but criticised the Indian government for not being aggressive like Germany in pulling up Indian account holders.
Earlier, Assaange had claimed that the documents he received on black money have the names of businessmen, politicians, and corporate honchos from
various countries including those in Asia. Meanwhile, the income-tax department has said it would carry on with its own course of action in the matter of black money. “We’ve intensified search and seizure operations and in the last two years the I-T department detected undisclosed income of R30,000 crore,” an official in the investigation wing said.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has also demanded the government to go serious on black money issue, especially after Assange’s statement.