SC pulls up Centre for poor action against tax havens

Written by feBureau | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 23 2014, 11:24am hrs
The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the government for failing to take concrete steps to recover the black money in the tax haven of Liechtenstein.

Observing that the inaction amounts to contempt of court, a bench headed by Justice HL Dattu expressed its displeasure for not implementing its three-year-old directions, including setting up of a SIT to probe all cases of black money and disclosing information received from Germany about individuals stashing money in Liechtenstein Bank.

Disapproving the contention of Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran that all the directions in July 4, 2011 judgment were inter-connected and disclosure of names received from Germany was to be done after the investigation by the SIT, it said: In our view the judgment has to be read disjunctively and not conjectively...This has nothing to do with the SIT. Today we are very clear that you have to give the documents and information received from Germany about the account holders in Liechtenstein Bank.

We have to take the statement of Solicitor General with a pinch of salt," it said. We are not satisfied with the explanation of the SG...you have to disclose the names of those against whom showcause notices have been issued, the bench said.

The apex court also sought an explanation as to why the government had failed to provide information on its investigation to the petitioner, Ram Jethmalani, noted lawyer and parliamentarian.

It said that the details must be furnished to Jethmalani by April 29, the next date of hearing.

Jethmalani had asked the government to share a list of names of those having accounts in Liechtenstein Bank on whom investigations have been concluded, either partially or wholly.