SC raps govt for failing to follow orders in black money case

SC raps govt for failing to follow orders in black money case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Centre for failing to implement its three-year-old directions including setting up a SIT to probe all cases of black money and disclosing information received from Germany about individuals who stashed money in Liechtenstein Bank.

A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu found it as “totally contempt of our directions” while disapproving the contention of Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran that all the directions in July 4, 2011 verdict were inter-connected and disclosure of names received from Germany was to be done after the investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

“We are not satisfied with the explanation of the SG,” the bench said, adding “In our view the judgment has to be read disjunctively and not conjectively.”

“This (disclosure of names)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. Secondly, the investigation has to be taken over by the SIT.

Thirdly, you have to disclose the names of those against whom show cause notices have been issued,” the bench said while referring to its July 4, 2011 directions in which it was stated that the Centre had to "forthwith" comply with its order.

The bench was also surprised that three years after its direction it was informed today that its former judge, Justice B P Jeevan Reddy, who was appointed to head the 13-member SIT, had expressed his inability by a letter dated August 15, 2011 to lead the team which was reiterated by him through another letter of April 18, 2014 addressed to the Joint Secretary, Revenue Department.

The bench asked both the Centre and petitioners which included eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani to discuss and come out with the name of a former apex court judge who would agree to head the SIT. Former apex court judge M B Shah was named as Vice Chairman of the SIT.

The court asked Parasaran to respond on April 29 after taking instruction from the Revenue Secretary what prevented the government to comply with the directions.
Senior advocate Anil Divan, appearing for Jethmalani said since there was no stay on the verdict, the Union of India have to forthwith give information, documents and materials received from Germany.

The court also noted earlier there was a review petition against the July 4, 2011 judgment which was dismissed and the Centre avoided implementing the order citing it.

The apex court had on March 26 had rejected the Centre's plea to recall its order for SIT to probe all cases of black money, saying it stepped in as for over six decades "the government failed to bring back the money stashed in foreign banks to the country".

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