The government is expected to disclose the names of close to 60 Indians and entities as it has recently initiated tax evasion prosecution proceedings against them as part of its crackdown on black money accounts as reported in the HSBC bank’s Geneva branch list.
Speaking to the media today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that assessment has already been completed for 350 account holders’ while the remaining is expected to be completed by 31 March, 2015. He further said that a prosecution has been launched against 60 people ho allegedly had more than a total Rs 1500 crore stashed away in illegal foreign accounts.
Referring to the Indian Express report, which said that nearly 1195 Indians had bank account in HSBC, Jaitley said that if the list contains names of resident Indians, appropriate action as per law will be taken against them. The secret documents reveal names of over 100,000 alleged HSBC account holders, details of their accounts in Geneva and their balances for the year 2006-07, a total of over 100 billion dollars. The 1,195 names from India allegedly include those of businessmen and politicians.
Earlier in December, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had submitted a report to the Supreme Court which revealed that persons on the HSBC list held Rs. 4,479 crores in Swiss banks.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi Marlena on Monday said that it is clear that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is not serious about the issue of black money as the names listed in connection with it had already been announced in the past.
“The names in the paper today were announced by us in the past, we want black money SIT’s scope to be expanded. If a newspaper can bring out the names why not the government? It’s clear that this government is not serious when it comes to bringing back black money,” said Marlena.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is the most competent authority to take cognizance of the information over black money issue and that it would take the appropriate steps on the matter.
“I think the SIT is already investigated into the names which were present with the government earlier. The income tax departments are also investigating. SIT is the most competent authority to take cognizance of such information and will take appropriate step. The government had made its position on the issue of black money very clear,” said party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao.
Sources said that those against whom legal action has been initiated include some corporates, business houses and other individuals as the Income Tax department has completed its probe and filed prosecution complaints against these entities, on the directions of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to tackle black money and illegal assets held by Indians abroad.
They said the total amount in these accounts is estimated to be to the tune of Rs 1,500-1,600 crore.
Sources said the complaints, under I-T laws, have been filed in various courts of the country and investigations in these cases have been completed by the taxman as these cases will get “time barred” by March 31 after which any legal action against them could not be carried out as the cases pertain to the period of 2008-2009.
“The disclosures of these names is part of the government’s commitment to curb cases of black money and of illegal funds stashed abroad by Indians. The I-T department aims to get conviction in these cases very fast,” they said.
The SIT, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Justice MB Shah, had said in its last report to the government and the Supreme Court in December 2014 that the black money holders names in HSBC Geneva list will be taken to their logical conclusion soon.
With inputs from PTI