Name those who stashed black cash: SC
‘Issue Beyond That Of Dodging I-T’
Dhananjay Mahapatra TNN
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday demanded the identity of 18 Indians who had allegedly parked Rs 43.83 crore illegally in a German bank and criticized the government’s reluctance do so, saying the seriousness in tackling the black money issue went beyond income tax demands slapped on defaulters.
Solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam’s stand—government is not ready to divulge the names—forced a bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar to counter: “Can you (government) claim privilege? What is the difficulty in disclosing the information.”
Faced with the court’s readiness to debate the validity of the government’s stand, Subramaniam sought time to consult the government on the issue. But he said the government was willing to show the status of the probe against individuals under the black money scanner. The solicitor general’s attempt to brand the illegal deposits as a mere tax issue evoked a sharp response. It said: “Issues involved in the case are serious and of larger dimension. It’s not only about tax avoidance.”
Petitioner and former law minister Ram Jethmalani had requested the highest court to direct the government recover an estimated Rs 70 lakh crore stashed illegally by Indians in foreign banks, especially in tax havens. Jethmalani’s counsel, senior advocate Anil Divan, accused the government of doing little on the alleged illegal transfer of huge sums from UBS Bank by Pune-based Hasan Ali Khan and his associate Kashinath Tapuria.
The Enforcement Directorate and the I-T department are investigating an alleged transaction of $8 billion in the name of Rheema Khan, wife of Hasan Ali Khan. The court asked Subramaniam to take instruction on Hasan and other individuals accused of dealing in black money being joined as parties to the pending parties.
Supreme Court: Do not drag case for yrs, go for mediation or arbitration New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked advocates to follow Mahatma Gandhi and persuade their clients not to go in for litigation and instead resolve the disputes through arbitration and mediation. A few passages of Mahatma Gandhi’s book, ‘My Experiments With Truth’, on the futility of litigation impressed the bench.
A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra said court cases drag on for years ruining both parties. “Lawyers should advise their clients to try for mediation for resolving disputes, especially where family and business relationships are involved,” it said. The bench asked two brothers, B S Krishna Murthy and B S Nagaraj, to appear before the Bangalore mediation centre for settlement.