Centre gets a week to notify SIT on black money
The Supreme Court Friday gave the central government one more week to notify the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the flight of black money to tax havens abroad and to bring it back.
An apex court bench of justices B.S. Chauhan and A.K. Sikri, while extending the time limit by one week, made it clear that the extension was only for the purpose of issuing a notification for constituting the SIT as directed by it.
As petitioner Ram Jethmalani sought to object to the central government's plea saying its intentions were suspect and it could claim no relief, Justice Chauhan said the government was not seeking any modification of the order but a week's time.
Jethmalani said the compliance of the May 1 order did not require any serious considerations by the government at the highest level as it has only to issue a notification as directed by the court twice: July 4, 2011 and May 1, 2014.
The court also directed the government to keep all the papers relating to black money in safe custody of an officer not below the rank of secretary.
The court directive came as Jethmalani, referring to the fire in Shastri Bhawan Thursday, expressed concern about the safety of documents related to black money.
Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran told the court that all these documents were in the finance ministry in North Block.
The court's order granting a week's time came after the central government sought modification of its earlier order of May 1 on notifying the SIT till its plea seeking a review of its July 4, 2011 and March 26, 2014 orders was "considered and disposed off by the court".
The court May 1 gave the government three weeks to issue the notification setting up the SIT to be presided over by former apex court judges M.B. Shah and Arijit Pasayat as chairman and vice chairman to guide and direct the investigation by the SIT.
The three weeks ended Thursday.
(Posted on 23-05-2014)