4:48 am - Wednesday February 28, 2024

Black money case: SC revives SIT to fast track probe

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The Supreme Court Thursday breathed life into the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to monitor the probe into the black money case by reconstituting it and directing the government to issue the necessary notification in three weeks.

The SIT, set up in 2011 to monitor the probe conducted by government agencies, has remained dormant so far. While Justice (retd) B P Jeevan Reddy had expressed inability to head the team, the government had also dithered in issuing the notification given its opposition to the creation of the SIT.

On Thursday, a bench led by Justice H L Dattu took on record Justice Reddy’s inability to join the team and reconstituted the SIT, with Justice (retd) M B Shah as its chairperson and Justice (redt) Arijit Pasayat its vice-chairperson.

“We now direct the Union of India to issue appropriate notification, as directed by this court in its earlier order, as expeditiously as possible, and not later than three weeks. We also request the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the SIT to initiate actions as expeditiously as possible,” said the bench.

The bench, also comprising Justices Ranjana P Desai and Madan B Lokur, further directed the Centre to make public by sharing with petitioner, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, all details regarding 26 account holders in Liechtenstein Bank in Germany who were investigated in the case.

The court asked Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran to make sure Jethmalani gets all details within three days.

It also assured senior advocate Anil Divan, who appeared for Jethmalani, that the court would pass all necessary orders if the SIT faced any difficulties in performing its role.

Parasaran had Tuesday told the court the information relating to these 26 individuals had been received from the German Tax department in 2009. Of the 26, investigation against 18 individuals is over and prosecution has been launched against 17 by the Income Tax department. One person had died, the SG had said. Parasaran had added that in the remaining eight cases, no evidence of tax evasion or wrongdoing had been found and hence no action was being contemplated.

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