Black money case: SC favours setting up SIT to conduct probe

The Supreme Court favoured setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), saying the issue is "wider" and asked the Centre to come up with its possible composition.

Updated: Mar 18, 2011, 17:55 PM IST

New Delhi: Wanting to get to the bottom
of the trail of black money stashed by Indians in foreign
banks, the Supreme Court today favoured setting up of a
Special Investigation Team (SIT), saying the issue is "wider"
and asked the Centre to come up with its possible composition.

A bench headed by Justice B Sudershan Reddy asked the
government to make its stand clear on setting up an SIT
comprising officers from different departments including the
Enforcement Directorate, the CBI and the IT to look into it.

"We are not talking about one case but many cases are
involved in it. This is much wider," the bench said.

"In principle, do you have any objection to setting up
of SIT to look into the matter?" the bench asked the
government.

It told the Centre and the petitioners to respond on
the next date of hearing on March 28 about its stand and the
possible composition of the SIT.

"Before we discuss this issue, both of you (the
government and the petitioners) tell us about possible
composition of SIT, if the need arises, for setting up the
same," the court said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by noted lawyer
Ram Jethmalani and some former bureaucrats seeking the court`s
direction to the government to bring black money stashed
by Indian nationals in foreign banks, which is said to be to
the tune of 1 trillion US dollars.

Besides Jethmalani, five others, including former
Punjab DGP K P S Gill and former Secretary General of Lok
Sabha Subhash Kashyap who are petitioners, have alleged that
the government was not taking action to bring the back black
money stashed in foreign banks.

NGO People`s Political Front and former top cop Julio
F Riberio are also among the petitioners.

Earlier, the court had expressed displeasure over the
government`s reluctance in coming forward with full
information on the black money stashed by Indians in foreign
banks, saying keeping national wealth abroad amounted to
"plunder" of the country.

The court had also asked the government to track the
source of the blackmoney which might have originated from
arms deals, drug trafficking and smuggling.

PTI