Supreme Court slams Gov again on black money, appoints own investigation team

The Supreme Court has slammed the Central Government for failing to take effective steps against black money and appointed its own special investigation team headed by two retired judges.

The team will be comprised of Justices Jeevan Reddy and MB Shah and will direct the investigation independently.

The Supreme Court is has been hearing a case filed by various people on black money for months. Justice Reddy will chair the team, which will also have other investigation members, mostly from the Government’s existing probe tream.

The Court also expressed disappointment over the investigations conducted so far by the Government’s own teams, calling them unsatisfactory and pointed out that the Government started taking action against the menace only after being egged on by the Court.

The Court also asked the government to disclose the names of those people on the Lichtenstein list against whom legal notices have been sent.

The Government has been making regular submissions before the Court on its action against black money — money that is not shown in any proper account as it is either derived through illegal means or to save tax.

The order came on petitions filed by former Union law minister Ram Jethmalani and others, which had asked for such a special investigation team.

They had demanded the names of 26 Indians holding money in Liechtenstein Bank.

The demand was opposed by the Central government on the grounds that outside investigation will not be “accountable to the court.” It also claimed it cannot reveal the names of the Swiss account holders due to bilateral agreements.

Critics allege that many politicians oppose any move to crack down on foreign funds as many of them stash away their own funds outside India.