Varun Gandhi uses RTI to seek names of MPs with Swiss a/c

Varun Gandhi uses RTI to seek names of MPs with Swiss a/c

Threatens to move court if govt info not furnished

“I will go to court  if government refuses to disclose the names of the account holders,”  Varun told Deccan Herald. He said politicians should come clean on the issue before expecting the public to follow a high standard of probity.

Varun said that the attempt through the RTI act was to expose “the rich and powerful who were harbouring illegal funds abroad”.

The MP from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, said there was no reason for the government to hold back the identities of the three MPs who are alleged to have stashed away unaccounted money in foreign banks.

The MP who has been backing Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption demanded punitive action against the three MPs whose names have figured in the list of those having illegal accounts abroad.

“It is not enough to tax them. The government must announce punitive action and nationalise a policy for illegal wealth abroad,” he said.

It is understood that the Central Board of Direct Taxes has conducted raids on some of those named in the list, including three MPs.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had claimed  that the names could not be revealed at this stage as a due process has to be followed. The claim of Mukherjee has been contested by economic experts who feel the names have not come to the government of India by way of an agreement with a foreign country.

The Indian government reportedly received a CD from the French government listing 700 bank accounts belonging to Indians in the HSBC Bank, Geneva. The main opposition party has estimated the accounts have a total amount of  Rs 4,000 crore.

A couple of years ago, the German government reportedly passed on a list of Indian black money holders in one bank in Liechtenstein but the government only released a few names to the Supreme Court after the latter directed them to do so.

Also, Wikileaks Editor Julian Assange has maintained that India tops the list of the countries which have the largest number of illegal bank accounts or black money abroad.