Govt submission on black money in Supreme Court 'ill-advised', says Ram Jethmalani
Slamming the NDA government for stating that it cannot disclose details of the data shared by it with foreign countries regarding black money, Rajya Sabha MP and senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Friday said that its recent submission in Supreme Court in the matter was "ill-advised".
Jethmalani said that the BJP-led government at the Centre should take no step without obtaining the consent of the SIT which has been set up to probe the matter.
A petitioner in the apex court on the issue of black money, Jethmalani suggested that the Centre was using the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement as an excuse to avoid revealing the names of those Indians who have black money stashed away in banks abroad.
"Your action in approaching SC with the kind of petition you have filed is one of the most ill-advised steps taken. The DTAA or any equivalent document is not to be used and cannot be used (to not reveal names)," Jethmalani, an expelled BJP member, said in a letter to finance minister Arun Jaitley.
He said that the black money investigation rested with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) by the order of the apex court and it is the government's duty to take no steps without supplying the information to SIT and taking its permission.
The apex court had constituted the SIT on black money upon a plea by Jethmalani. "Please do not send names you have got from the Germans to the Swiss. Send them to SIT so they can tell them what to do," Jethmalani said.
The Narendra Modi government, which had promised to bring back black money kept by Indians in foreign banks, recently toed the line of the previous UPA regime by informing Supreme Court that it cannot make public such details as have been shared by countries with which India has a double taxation avoidance agreement.
Jethmalani had strongly objected to the stand taken by the Centre and said that the matter be not heard. "Matter should not be entertained even for a day. Such application should have been made by the culprits and not by the government," Jethmalani had said.