SIT on black money suggests a cap of Rs 15 L with individuals

The Special Investigating Team (SIT) on black money has suggested to the Supreme Court that a ceiling of Rs 15 lakh be imposed on the maximum cash currency that an individual/entity is allowed to possess at a particular point of time to curb the menace.

New Delhi: The Special Investigating Team (SIT) on black money has suggested to the Supreme Court that a ceiling of Rs 15 lakh be imposed on the maximum cash currency that an individual/entity is allowed to possess at a particular point of time to curb the menace.

"Cash holding is one of the primary modes in which black money is held in this country. Legitimate transactions can be made through the use of cheques/bank transfers all of which can be traced. The use of cash for executing transactions makes the source of money difficult to trace.

"The SIT recommends that a ceiling be imposed on the maximum cash/currency that an individual/entity is allowed to possess at a particular point of time. SIT has recommended Rs. 15 lakh as the permissible limit, however, even a higher threshold may be fixed," it said.

Government should examine this issue and come up with suitable legal framework to implement this recommendation, the apex-court appointed SIT has submitted before a Bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu.

Further, SIT's submission by senior advocate Soli Sorabjee, said its report reveals that there is a paucity of forums to dispose of the pending cases relating to various violations of the Income Tax Act, 1964.

"The SIT recommends the setting up of five Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) courts in Mumbai to expedite the proceedings in more than 5000 cases that are pending for the violation of the different provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1964," it submitted.

Among the other recommendations, the SIT said offences relating to tax evasion be made "Predicate Offences" and to strengthen the provisions FEMA needs to be amended to provide for seizure and confiscation of property of equivalent value within the country.

"The SIT recommends that the Government should act expeditiously to effect the aforementioned amendment proposed by the SIT," the submission said, adding that there was a need for tallying of import-export data with foreign governments to control Trade Based Money Laundering.

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