Govt mulling to broaden ambit of Predicate Offences: SIT to SC

Government is mulling to broaden the definition of "Predicate Offences" on the lines of nations like Australia, Cananda and the US to bring the offence of tax evasion under its ambit, the Supreme Court has been informed.

New Delhi: Government is mulling to broaden the definition of "Predicate Offences" on the lines of nations like Australia, Cananda and the US to bring the offence of tax evasion under its ambit, the Supreme Court has been informed.

"The schedule to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 specifies a list of Predicate Offences under which offences relating to proceeds of crime can be prosecuted. 'Tax Evasion' is not a predicate offence yet," the Special Investigating Team (SIT), set up by the apex court on the black money issue, said recently.

In its submissions, the SIT said the exercise on the issue was undertaken by the CBDT to examine which provisions of the Income Tax Act should be brought within the ambit of Predicate Offences.

Further, the SIT said it has recommended that 'Tax Evasion' be made a predicate offence in India, following the examples of 25 other prominent countries like Australia, Canada and the USA.

"The CBDT is examining which particular provisions of the Income Tax Act should be brought within the ambit of Predicate Offences and the said examination should be complete by the end of March, 2015," the SIT said.

"To prevent any hardship to salaried or small tax payer, the Government can prescribe a high threshold of say, more than Rs 50 lakh of tax evasion which could be considered as being a Predicate Offence," the SIT said.

The apex court had appointed SIT headed by its former judge M B Shah as Chairman and Justice Arijit Passayat as Vice Chairman among others to monitor the probe and suggest measures for bringing back the black money stashed in foreign banks.

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