Black money: SC tells Centre to form SIT within one week

The Supreme Court on Friday granted one week’s more time to the Centre to set up SIT under its former judge MB Shah to monitor all black money cases as per its direction.

A vacation bench of justices BS Chauhan and AK Sikri granted time as the deadline fixed by the apex court for constituting the SIT expired on Thursday.

The bench said, ‘The volume of alleged income-taxes owed to the country, as demanded by the Union of India itself, and the volume of monies, by some accounts $8.04 billion, and some other accounts in excess of Rs. 70,000 crore, are said to have been routed through various bank accounts of Hassan Ali Khan and Tapurias. Further, from all accounts it has been acknowledged that none of the named individuals has any known and lawful sources for such huge quantities of monies.

The bench also directed that all documents relating to black money must be kept in safe custody of secretary-level officer of revenue department after the petitioner senior advocate Ram Jethmalani alleged that some of the ‘vital’ documents were destroyed in a fire at Shastri Bhawan.

Solicitor General Mohan Prasaran, however, refuted Jethmalani's claim, saying all documents are kept at north block and not at Shastri Bhavan.

The apex court had on 1 May directed the Centre to handover within three days all documents and information collected by it in its probe in the cases of alleged stashing of black money in LST bank in Liechtenstein, Germany, to Jethmalani and others who raised the issue before it.

It had directed the Centre to issue notification regarding their appointment of SIT within three weeks.

It had appointed its retired judges M B Shah as the Chairman and Arijit Pasayat as the Vice Chairman of the Special Investigating Team (SIT) for providing guidance and direction in the investigation of all cases of black money in the country and abroad.

Justice Shah, who was earlier appointed as vice-chairman by a 4 July, 2011 order, will take place of former apex court judge BP Jeevan Reddy, who expressed his inability to continue as chairman due to personal reasons.
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