Finmin all set to prosecute 69 for black money

Written by Nistula Hebbar | Nistula Hebbar | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 20 2011, 05:12am hrs
The finance ministry will be prosecuting 69 account holders from HSBC Geneva, out of a list of 782 names of Indian nationals who have reportedly stashed black money in the bank. The ministry has given this assurance to the members of the parliamentary standing committee on finance which met here on Friday on the issue of black money.

The committee members had earlier demanded to know what action was being taken, and why was the list not being made public. Finance ministry officials said a verification of the names of the account holders was being carried out and 69 account holders had been held liable for prosecution under money laundering acts.

Standing committee chairman Yashwant Sinha has said that the committee should be apprised of the status of the prosecution of these account holders, said a member of the committee present at the meeting.

It was in July this year that French authorities had handed over a list of 782 account holders in HSBC Geneva to the Indian government.

According to reports from the finance ministry, of this, 70 account holders were based in Delhi and 18 have been searched. Six of these account holders have paid off due taxes after being called to account.

The issue of black money has gained political leverage and the principal opposition party, the BJP, has been pursuing the matter doggedly for quite some time now. When Advaniji first raised the issue, everyone laughed, but now the truth is coming out about lakhs of crores of rupees belonging to the country stashed abroad, said BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

Leader of the opposition in the Lower House, Sushma Swaraj, has already declared that the matter of making public the names of the 782 account holders will be raised in Parliament, through a calling attention motion.