Agra: The government on Tuesday said it cannot disclose the identity of persons involved in black money cases before initiating prosecution proceedings.
"The commitment is regarding secrecy. Secrecy has to be maintained. As and when prosecution proceedings are there, the information (will) come into the public domain before the courts," Finance Secretary R S Gujral told reporters here when asked whether the government would disclose the identity of 700 HSBC account holders in Switzerland, whose names were reportedly given by the French government to India.
As regards prosecution, he said it would be initiated by the Income Tax Department in appropriate cases.
Gujral further said that information about accounts in overseas banks would be shared with the Enforcement Directorate after initiation of prosecution proceedings.
"Once the information is available in the public domain, obviously they (Enforcement Directorate) can take action. But before the information is in the public domain, information cannot be shared even with the ED," Gujral added.
The Income Tax Department is probing a list of 700 Indians with accounts in Geneva-based banks after the government received information in this regard, reportedly from the French government.
However, the government has not disclosed the names of persons who were being probed by the Income Tax Department in connection with their unaccounted wealth in overseas bank accounts.
First Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 21:52