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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

SC gives one week to govt for SIT on black money

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 23, 2014
First Published: 23:52 IST(23/5/2014) | Last Updated: 09:56 IST(24/5/2014)

The Supreme Court on Friday granted a week’s time to the Centre to set up a Special Investigative Team (SIT) to monitor the probe against 18 Indians who have allegedly stashed black money in the LGT bank in Liechtenstein — a landlocked country in central Europe.

Acting on the Centre’s plea, a vacation  bench of justices BS Chauhan and AK Sikri extended the deadline, which ended on Thursday, to May 29.

SC had on May 1, 2014, given the Centre three weeks’ time to issue the notification setting up the SIT which, under the chairmanship of its retired judge justice MB Shah, was to conduct a thorough probe into all the cases of black money.

After resisting for more than three years, the Centre had on April 29 disclosed the names and documents of 26 Indians who have allegedly stashed money in LGT bank in Liechtenstein.

In an affidavit, the Centre said that the income tax department had completed its probe and launched prosecution against 17 persons. There was no evidence with regard to the remaining eight, it said.

The UPA government, which had vehemently opposed SIT probe into the cases, has already filed a review plea against the SC order, claiming that courts should not interfere with the economic policy which is in the domain of the executive and that such matters must necessarily be left to expert bodies.

But days after losing the Lok Sabha elections, the caretaker government moved an application seeking an extension of the deadline, saying that it would like the new BJP government to notify the team since the incumbent government was only a caretaker.

The SC also directed all the documents related to black money cases be kept in safe custody with a secretary-level officer of the revenue department.


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