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SC takes on government over blackmoney probe

Press Trust Of India
Apr 21, 2011 at 06:10pm IST

New Delhi: "Was the government sleeping all these years on the issue of blackmoney," the Supreme Court said on Thursday while criticising the Centre's probe restricting to an individual and being evasive about the idea of an investigation by the Special Investigating Team.

The apex court said the investigation into the issue of black money required complete and full-fledged involvement of government as the most important question was about the disclosure of source of money stashed in foreign banks, which may be terror money or money coming from drug peddling.

A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar asked the government to explain why its investigation is focused only on Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan and no other name has come out who have stashed money in overseas banks.

SC takes on government over blackmoney probe

SC asked the government to explain why is the investigation is focused only on Hasan Ali and no other names.

"Your whole focus is centered on one individual. Does it mean that all the black money parked in foreign banks belong to only one person? Is it that black money issue is surrounding around one person? Do you have information beyond that?" the bench said.

"We put it very simply and bluntly. Do you have any information regarding other persons also? It seems there is only one person (Indian) who has bank account in Switzerland and no other persons' account has come under suspect in Swiss bank," the bench told the government.

Responding to the specific question put by the bench, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said the matter has to be investigated on different fronts and the court should ask the RBI to file a report on black money stashed in UBS Bank, Switzerland, on the basis of which further action could be taken.

He said the issue of passport case should be investigated by CBI as the offence in this regard was not restricted only to Maharashtra but to other states and earlier also it was stated that "it is not an offence simpliciter".

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