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Black Money: Centre Reveals Names of Three Account Holders to SC

Pradip Burman, of the Dabur group, Goa-based miner Radha S Timblo and Bullion trader Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhya are the names mentioned in affidavit submitted before the top court.

Published: 27th October 2014 08:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2014 03:44 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme-court

NEW DELHI: The Central government on Monday reveled to the Supreme Court the names of three persons who have black money account.

Pradip Burman, of the Dabur group, Goa-based miner Radha S Timblo and Bullion trader Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhya are the names mentioned in affidavit submitted before the top court.

The government informed the court that it had no intention to hold back any information or the names it has received from the foreign governments of Indian citizens holding undisclosed accounts in foreign banks.

However it said that every foreign account held by an Indian may not be illegal and names cannot be disclosed unless there is prima facie evidence of wrongdoing.

The affidavit said that soon after assuming the office it has set up the special investigation team to probe the flight of black money to the tax havens as ordered by the apex court.

It also said Switzerland had indicated willingness to provide information on black money in cases where probe has been done by the IT department.

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Meanwhile, Dabur, in a statement ruled out the charges against Burman and said his account was legal.

"We wish to state that this account was opened when he was an NRI, and was legally allowed to open this account. We have followed all the laws and the complete details regarding the account have been voluntarily, and as per law, filed with the Income Tax Department, and appropriate taxes paid, wherever applicable," the statement said.

Media reports quoting certain sources said on Monday that names of four Congress leaders are included in the list of those who are being investigated for allegedly stashed wealth abroad illegaly.

According to sources the names include a former junior minister in the previous UPA government. The group includes a former MP from Uttar Pradesh, and two members of a major political family from Maharashtra, an NDTV report says.

The government had earlier told the top court that it could not reveal the names received from other countries as it would be violation of India’s Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with other countries and would make it difficult to sign the pact with other countries.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had blamed the agreement entered into by the Congress government with Germany in 1995 as a constraining factor in disclosing details of black money stashed abroad. 

Jaitley had also said the Congress party would be embarrassed once the names of people holding illicit foreign accounts are made public.

According to the Swiss National Bank’s latest data, the wealth stashed abroad by Indians went from Rs 9,514 crore in 2012 to Rs 14,000 crore in 2013. However, according to Global Financial Integrity, a Washington-based think tank, Indians have an estimated $462 billion, or about Rs 26 lakh crore, in tax havens abroad. 

In the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, BJP spearheaded by Narendra Modi had promised to bring back black money kept by Indians in overseas bank and slammed UPA government for not taking effective action and accusing it of shielding the corrupt.

After assuming power in May, the Modi government had pledged to fulfil its pre-poll promise.

(With inputs from agencies)

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