Centre to complete Income-linked Probe on Black Money by March 2015

New Delhi, Oct. 29: The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it would require time till March 31, 2015 to complete all income-related assessments of people found guilty of stashing away black money in banks abroad.

Speaking on behalf of the government, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that three sets of documents had been handed over to a bench of the apex court, and confirmed that 627 or 628 people are under investigation for having illegal accounts at HSBC. Rohatgi said that the details and the status report have been handed over to the court in sealed covers.

"It was indicated to the court that the last date for assessment of all these accounts is March 31, 2015 and all assessments have to be completed by that period. The court after hearing submissions of both sides did not open the cover, but directed that the sealed cover shall given by the Registry of this court to the SIT today itself," Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing on behalf of the government, told media persons here.

"The status report was also given in the sealed cover to the court. The court, thereafter, heard our submissions as to what we are doing under the control of SIT, how much investigation has been done," said Rohatgi.

The government's top lawyer also pointed out that the court while refusing to open the sealed covers had directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to open them.

"The SIT will open the sealed covers, the SIT will thereafter see what they have to do and they will then proceed in accordance with law in whichever manner they desire," he said.

The SIT will reportedly submit a report on 220 HSBC account holders to the court at the end of this month. The court has also permitted the government to place its problems before the SIT.

"We will be placing our problems in regard to the treaty before the SIT and we shall then request the SIT to submit their report to the SC which is to be submitted by 30 November," Rohatgi added.

"I had pointed out to the court that the same list, full and complete, had already been on June 27 given to the SIT, but the court has sent it again and the court has permitted us to place our problems before the SIT for further negotiation of some other treaties which we may have to do and wherever there is some economic impact of withholding tax under an American treaty which is not signed as a result of economic adverse impact...," he pointed out.

The apex court had on Tuesday asked the Union Government to release all the names of the people who have stashed their black money in accounts abroad. This order came after the latter had released the names of three account holders on Monday.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had emphatically expressed the government's keenness in getting to the root of the matter so that the account holders' names comes out and they face legal action and eventually bring back the money lying in foreign shores back to the country. (ANI)

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