Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Black money trail: PIL by late Ram Jethmalani adjourned by 2 weeks

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The petition filed by the late senior advocate and politician, Ram Jethmalani and others for recovering black money stashed in foreign accounts in the Supreme has been adjourned.

 The petition, which was filed in 2009, could only be heard in 2016. The petitioners in the case apart from Jethmalani, were the former IPS officer KPS Gill.

One more petition was filed by the former IPS officer Julio F Riberio and some other former civil servants on the same issue which also was put to hearing today.

A Bench comprising of Justice S Abdul Nazeer, AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian have adjourned the matter when the petitioner counsel sought for more time to seek instructions.

The petition counsel that it is a matter of importance and the court has directed the government, through the committee, to file reports on how to tackle problems of black money in the country.

He said that many reports have been submitted in sealed covers.but we need to seek instructions from committee members on what has to be done. Kindly adjourn by two weeks.”

During the hearing , the Bench enquired as to if the committee reports were placed on record?

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhatihowever informed that she’ll not appear if there’s a conflict as her office is assisting the committee formed.

“The senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan said he wanted to intervene in the matter and was told Do it fast, why are you waiting?”

The Public attention was sought by Jethmalani on the problem of unaccounted wealth earned in India being stashed in foreign tax havens, which he estimated to be about Rs 90 lakh crores of rupees.

During the 2009 scams related to 2G spectrum allocations were rocking the UPA government , a PIL was filed by him and 5 other in the regard.

The PIL pointed that immense volume of unaccounted money indicates a significant lack of control over unlawful activities. He talked about evasion of taxes, and use of unlawful means of transfer of funds.

He also alleged that these funds are then laundered and brought back into India, to be used in both legal and illegal activities.

The Supreme court on July 4, 2011, under the bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and Surinder Singh Nijjar constituted a Special Investigation Team(SIT) with former Supreme Court judges to monitor and guide the investigation related to the stashing of unaccounted monies in foreign bank accounts by Indians or others.

The Court had said the issue of black money indicated a “failure of state” and observed that a resolution of the problem was of “primordial importance to the welfare of the citizens”

In 2015, Jethmalani said that he is irritated and upset at the unsatisfactory progress in the probe.

He told a bench headed by the then CJI H L Dattu that legal money stashed abroad was “worse than an illusion” and a “fraud on the nation”.

He also had alleged that the government “has no intention to proceed against those stashing black money and said it can be their involvement as well.

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