Replying to activist Arvind Kejriwal’s demand for arrest of senior officials of HSBC Bank for alleged money laundering for Indian businessmen, the finance ministry said on Saturday that an investigation is in progress in the matter even with foreign tax authorities. The bank and the businessmen named by Kejriwal, however, denied any wrongdoing, while maintaining that there is nothing illegal about overseas arms of Indian companies and non-resident Indians having accounts with foreign banks.
The finance ministry said it has analysed and investigated the information about certain bank accounts reportedly held by some in a foreign bank. “Appropriate action has been taken on these cases and further action, including assessment, tax collection and levy of penalty, will be taken as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961, and based on the facts of each case,” the revenue department stated here. The ministry did not comment on the culpability of the individuals or companies named by Kejriwal.
The government has been maintaining that while action is being taken on the information shared by the foreign government, it is bound by confidentiality agreements not to use such information for anything other than tax purposes.