Taking on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government for delay in bringing back the black money to India, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who is the petitioner on the issue, on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that without new laws or amendments in the existing laws, it would be difficult to bring back black money from banks abroad.

Ram Jethmalani

Taking on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government for delay in bringing back the black money to India, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who is the petitioner on the issue, on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that without new laws or amendments in the existing laws, it would be difficult to bring back black money from banks abroad. Appearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India H L Dattu, Jethmalani submitted that he has already drafted a legislation which was submitted only to the court-appointed special investigating team (SIT) and also to the Prime Minister Office (PMO). “I got to know that PMO has forwarded the same to finance ministry, which has not yet responded to me. Nothing can be done without new legislation. If the government does not favour the draft legislation, then I would like to go to people. With total disappointment, I would say that the government has treated his plea as adversarial litigation,” Jethmalani told the court. Appearing for Jethmalani, counsel Anil Divan contended that “not a single rupee has come to this country since May last year, when the apex court had appointed an SIT on the issue. Only some search and attachment here and there have been conducted.” Divan also urged the court to pass an order asking the government to look into some foreign bank accounts details given by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in an article. Appearing for Centre, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that every detail is with SIT and if any one has any suggestion he or she can appear before SIT. He also made it clear that by March 31, 2015 the government will complete the assessment of all accounts which have come to government. Justice Dattu said, “”We are interested in money coming back and not on disclosure of names,” CJI Dattu said when arguments were advanced that the government should disclose the names of those who have admitted having illegal accounts in foreign banks. He permitted the parties concerned to file their suggestions before the SIT within two weeks. Appearing for SIT, former attorney geneal for India Soli Sorabjee submitted that the SIT will file a detailed report by mid-April. In its earlier report, the panel has suggested to the government to make tax evasion an offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.Till now, tax evasion was a compoundable offence. A person caught evading tax could admit to his wrongs and pay penalty to walk free. But if it is made a prosecutable offence, he may face a jail term. The SIT also recommended establishment of additional courts in Mumbai to expedite tax matters relating to this issue.

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New laws only way to bring black money back: Ram Jethmalani