Black money: Tax agencies begin investigation, send notices
Cracking the whip, tax enforcement agencies are probing details of black money stashed abroad by several Indians including politicians and businessman on the basis of information received about secret accounts with a multi-national bank in Geneva.
The probe includes searches on some of the individuals figuring in the secret accounts said to be running into some hundreds and involving money to the tune of around Rs 3,000 crores, official sources said here.
They said the accounts were mainly traced to HSBC bank in Geneva but declined to disclose whether information about them was passed on to India by France.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here Tuesday that the names would be disclosed after initiation of prosecution proceedings.
"As and when the information (is received), investigation starts, prosecution takes place (and) matter comes to the court.
"Then, as per the existing treaty terms, we can reveal the names in cases of prosecution by the Income Tax Department," Mukherjee said when asked whether the government has received information about industrialists and MPs in connection with black money.
As part of the probe, notices are understood to have been sent by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to individuals and entities across countries following scrutiny of classified banking data received from foreign countries about Swiss Bank accounts.
Among the people under the IT department scanner are believed to be industrialists including some business entities in the South and an ex-MP from North.
Reacting to reports that three MPs from UP, Kerala and Haryana were being probed, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a press release saying no summonses have been issued to Members of Parliament (MP) in connection with investigation of black money cases.
"It has also been reported (in sections of press) that summons has been issued to some Members of Parliament. This information is factually incorrect and is therefore denied", CBDT said in a release.
Mukherjee had said recently that the government has received information from France about the overseas bank accounts of Indians. "In 69 cases, the taxpayers have admitted to unaccounted income of Rs 397.17 crore. Taxes of Rs 30.07 crore have also been paid," he had said.
India, according to the Finance Ministry, has so far received over 9,900 pieces of information from several countries regarding suspicious transactions by Indian citizens, which are now under different stages of processing and investigation.
The Department of Criminal Investigation will initiate legal proceedings in several cases in the next few months, sources said, adding that the cases would be dealt with under criminal provisions of the IT Act.
In a number of cases being probed by the DCI, the department plans to conducts searches and surveys for obtaining additional information.