Centre moves SC for review of order in blackmoney

The Centre approached the SC seeking review and recall of its order for setting up a SIT to take over the probe of all black money cases.

Last Updated: Jul 16, 2011, 08:50 AM IST

New Delhi: The Centre on Friday approached
the Supreme Court seeking review and recall of its order for
setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising its
retired judges to take over the probe of all black money cases
including that of Pune stud farm owner Hassan Ali Khan.

The government has sought a review as well as complete
recall of the order in which it has also been pulled up for
the "laggardly pace" in investigations into the issue of
black money stashed abroad.

Sources said the decision to avail the remedy of
recalling the order was taken as it would give the Centre a
chance to advance its arguments in an open court. The review
petitions are considered in chamber without the presence of
even the counsel.

They said a separate application for recalling the
July 4 order has been filed in which the Centre has contended
that a bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy (since retired) and
SS Nijjar had passed the directions without "completely"
hearing its stand.

The Centre has submitted that the arguments of then
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium has not been considered
completely by the Bench which ignored the steps taken for
probing and monitoring the investigation into the issue of
black money.

Sources said the decision to move the apex court
against the order was taken after a closed-door meeting in
which top officials of Finance and Home Ministries discussed
the content of the order along with top law officers including
Attorney General GE Vahanvati and other Additional Solicitor
Generals.

The government in its application raised objections to
the apex court`s criticism in the first 20 paragraphs of the
judgement passed on July 4 while appointing former judges -
Justices BP Jeevan Reddy and MB Shah - as chairman and
vice-chairman of SIT.

It said the first 20 paragraphs have been written by
the bench without any arguments being advanced by Gopal
Subramaniam, who has since resigned.

The bench had in its order said monies generated and
stashed away reveal the degree of "softness of the State".

Listing worries arising out of the unaccounted monies
stashed in foreign banks, the bench had said "the quantum of
such monies may be rough indicators of the weakness of the
State, in terms of both crime prevention, and also of tax
collection".

The apex court had observed that the unaccounted money
going abroad is a reflection of the compromise of the
government`s ability to manage the affairs of the state
according to constitutional perspective.

"Unaccounted monies, especially large sums held by
nationals and entities with a legal presence in the nation, in
banks abroad, especially in tax havens or in jurisdictions
with a known history of silence about sources of monies,
clearly indicate a compromise of the ability of the State to
manage its affairs in consonance with what is required
from a constitutional perspective," the court had said.

It had said the failure of the government to control
the phenomenon of black money stashed in foreign banks is an
indication of weakness and softness of the state in managing
its affairs.

"Large quanta of monies stashed abroad, would also
indicate a substantial weakness in the capacity of the State
in collection of taxes on incomes generated by individuals and
other legal entities within the country," the court had said.

It had said "a substantial degree of incapacity, in
the above respect, would be an indicia of the degree of
failure of the State".

PTI