Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday charged the government with attempting to pre-empt formation of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the black money case by setting up a high-level committee to monitor it.
"The high-level committee set up by the government is merely a ruse and a facade to keep total control over all investigation by bureaucrats and officials who are subservient to the political executive and cannot take action against them," senior advocate Anil B Divan told a bench headed by justice B Sudershan Reddy on behalf of Jethmalani.
Alleging inaction on the part of the government, Jethmalani and five others, including former Punjab DGP KPS Gill and former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash Kashyap have filed a PIL in the SC seeking direction to the government to take steps to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks.
But the court said the committee did not have its stamp of approval.
"We have not passed any order on it. It is still a suggestion," it said.
Divan alleged the government has been opposing the setting up of SIT and seeking adjournments knowing that the bench hearing the matter will "break" after the vacation in view of the retirement of the senior judge (Justice Reddy) in early July.
"At the last hearing on April 25 in an effort to pre-empt the formation of an independent high-ranking monitoring group, suddenly a multi-disciplinary committee was formed by the government order on April 22," he said, terming it a "clever attempt" to derail the hearings.
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium reacted terming it "insinuation".
"What type of insinuation that we want the bench to break up. This is being said for getting wide publicity and it is unfortunate," he said.