Slamming the UPA government for “struggling” to conduct a proper investigation against persons such as Hasan Ali Khan who have allegedly stashed black money abroad, the Supreme Court on Monday set up a special investigating team (SIT) to conduct a thorough probe into the cases.
A bench of Justice B Sudershan Reddy and Justice SS Nijjar ordered former SC judge BP Jeevan Reddy to head the 13-member SIT. Another retired SC judge, MB Shah, will be vice-chairman of the team.
The court said the SIT was constituted by it because of the government’s inability to probe the national security perspective in its “belated” effort and “slow-paced” investigation. CNN IBN-HT survey on corruption
The court observed that the government had not been able to conduct probes against some “corporate leaders, politically powerful people and international arms dealers”.
The SIT would include the revenue secretary, deputy governor of the RBI, director of the Intelligence Bureau, CBI director, director of the Research and Analysis Wing and chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
The bench also questioned the Centre’s decision to grant a licence for retail banking to Swiss bank UBS whose credentials had come under scrutiny in black money cases.
The court issued a series of directions to the SIT and gave it just over a month’s time to file compliance reports.
One of the directions was for “preparing a comprehensive action plan, including the creation of necessary institutional structures that can enable and strengthen the country’s battle against generation of unaccounted monies”.
Commenting on the development, home minister P Chidambaram said, “If the Supreme Court has given an order, it is final because it is the final court. Let us first read the order.”
Welcoming the order, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, “This decision is a slap on the face of the government. The government does not want to take any tough and honest measures to check corruption and black money.” (With PTI inputs)