New Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked the Centre and RBI to file their response in four weeks on a plea seeking CBI inquiry against Indian offshore bank account holders named in the Panama papers.
A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit, granted four weeks time to the parties to file the affidavit after the Centre told the court that investigation is in progress and it was looking into the allegations.
A Multi-Agency Group (MAG) of various investigative agencies has been formed by the government to go into the disclosures made in the list which includes about 500 Indian entities.
The Panama Papers leaks contain an unprecedented amount of information, including more than 11 million documents covering 2,10,000 companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions. Each transaction spans different jurisdictions and may involve multiple entities and individuals.
The petition filed by advocate M L Sharma also sought a CBI probe against the Indian offshore account holders and stock market regulators under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
He has sought direction to CBI to lodge FIR and conduct investigation against the SEBI chairman, his associates, share brokers etc. For alleged offences including, under Prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Sharma has alleged in the petition that Panama Papers include the names of nearly 500 Indians, including celebrities and industrialists, who have parked funds in offshore accounts in transactions brokered by the law firm.
The plea also referred to some prominent people like film stars -Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, corporates including liquor baron Vijay Mallya, DLF owner K P Singh and nine members of his family, and the promoters of Apollo Tyres and Indiabulls whose names figure in the list of 500 Indians.
The petitioner also alleged that these offshore bank accounts and funds therein have been protected and allowed to be in circulation in Indian stock market through regulators under political protection for which SEBI chairman and directors have been re-appointed and their terms extended several times.