New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday took
strong exception to the Enforcement Directorate filing an
"unsigned" status report about its investigations into the
issue of black money stashed in foreign banks.
The apex court returned the unsigned status report
which was placed before it in the sealed cover to the
investigating agency making it clear that "it will not accept
the report which has not been signed by any official".
"We want to look into the status report but we will
not accept it as it is not signed. You have to place before us
a signed status report," a Bench comprising Justices B
Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar said while asking the ED to
apprise it of progress in its investigation by December 10.
During the hearing, the Centre claimed privilege over
some documents and said it could not make them public as it
would jeopardise the investigation carried out so far.
"I know that the matter is of public interest. We have
done the investigation. I don`t want to bring it in the public
domain. I don`t want the investigation to get jeopardised,"
Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi said.
However, the Bench said the petitioner was not making
submission to jeopardise the investigation but wanted to know
what has happened to the probe since September last year.
"In September 2009, a notice was issued in the matter.
We want to know what has happened in the matter," the Bench said.
Senior advocate Anil Divan, appearing for noted jurist
Ram Jethamalani and others who have filed a PIL on black
money, submitted the Centre should make public the staus
report on the probe done by its agencies.
Tripathi, who disfavoured making public the status
report on the investigation, gave example of the 9/11 Mumbai
terror attack and said live footage of the incident was used
by the terrorists to help themselves.
"I don`t like this thing to happen in this matter
(investigation into the issue of black money). If the
documents are made public, it will help the offenders. I don`t
want to jeopardise the investigation," he said.
However, his stand was opposed by Divan who said that
looking at it with that of terrorist angle was different from
the criminality involved in the present matter.
He was objecting to the stand of the Department of
Revenue which was not giving the documents relating to the
showcause notice issued on December 29, 2008, to Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan against whom the Enforcement Directorate had lodged a complaint for violating Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).