Live Updates Black money case: The Government of India is going to submit full list of names of Indians having accounts in foreign banks to Supreme Court Today. In total, the Centre has placed before the apex court in a sealed envelope names of 627 Indians who have accounts in overseas banks.
11:32 am: SC directs SIT to complete initial probe in black money case by March 2015.
11:30 am: Attorney General: SC did not open the sealed cover containing names of a/c holders; all assessments to be completed by March 2015.
11:20 am: Supreme Court: Only SIT chairman and vice chairman can open the sealed envelope containing names of account holders
11:00 am: SC refuses to open the sealed envelope saying that the documents be placed before SIT.
10: 45 am : Govt submits list of 627 names before SC in black money case
The government Wednesday submitted a list of 627 names of Indians with foreign bank accounts to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope.
It is, however, unclear if the court will make the names public. The list was submitted before the SC by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who also placed before the bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu three sets of documents on list of treaties and status reports.
The development came a day after the apex court directed the Centre to furnish the names of all individuals and entities in its possession who have accounts in overseas banks, legitimate or otherwise, in connection with the black money case.
The SC directive came after the government on Monday gave the court the names of seven individuals and one company, alleging they had funds in bank accounts abroad over which proceedings had been initiated for tax evasion.
The apex court bench had told the Attorney General that the government needed to just disclose the names in a sealed envelope and the court would decide whether it should be investigated upon and by whom.
“First give us the names. We will get them investigated. Not just one, two, three (names), give us in a sealed cover what you have got from the French, German and Swiss governments,” Chief Justice Dattu said.
When Rohatgi told the court that tax authorities were probing the accounts, the chief justice had said: “Why do you want to take the trouble of investigating? Give it to us. We’ll direct the CBI or tax authorities to undertake investigation in a month’s time.”
Soon after the court’s directive, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the names as sought by the Supreme Court had already been given to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the government at the behest of the apex court.
“Since the government had already given, on June 27, the entire list to the SIT, it has no difficulty in giving it to the court. The entire list would be placed before it by tomorrow morning,” Jaitley added.
The primary purpose of this exercise is to ascertain who among the individuals and the entities named hold such accounts in contravention of Indian laws and what kind of proceedings can be initiated to prosecute them and get back any ill-gotten money.
India has no official estimates of illegal money stashed away in bank accounts overseas. But the unofficial ones range from USD 466 billion to USD 1.4 trillion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has promised to get back such “black money”.