Don`t politicise the issue of black money: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the contesting parties to refrain from politicising the issue of black money saying it was a "serious" matter which has to be dealt in the best interests of the country.

Last Updated: Apr 08, 2011, 23:24 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the
contesting parties to refrain from politicising the issue of
black money saying it was a "serious" matter which has to be
dealt in the best interests of the country.

"The issue is very serious. Unnecessarily don`t
politicise it. We have to deal with the issue in the country`s
best interests," a bench comprising justices B Sudershan Reddy
and S S Nijjar said.
The bench made the remarks after senior advocate Ram
Jethmalani made a politically loaded statement in connection
with the investigation against Pune stud owner Hasan Ali Khan
relating to alleged tax evasion and money laudering.

"The conversation shows direct intervention of 10,
Janpath," he said while placing before the bench a recorded
conversation relating to the interogation of Ali by suspended
IPS officer Ashok Deshbhratar.

The senior advocate, who filed an intervention
application on behalf of Deshbhratar, said he was placing the
pendrive and transcript relating to the interrogation of Ali
by Deshbhratar.

In the application, there was a mention of two letters on
the letter heads of Congress leader Ahmed Patel addressed to
the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Jethmalani said the suspended IPS officer wanted to
assist the court in the case. However, after he expressd his
desire to approach the apex court on March 15, the Maharashtra
government ordered his suspension on March 21.
At the outset, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, in
compliance with the order of the court, placed the copy of the
CD and transcripts of 53-year-old Khan`s statements recorded
by Deshbhratar and informed that statements relating to the
probe were being video recorded.

However, when he was making the submission, the Bench
drew his attention to the affidavits filed by Jasbir Singh,
who is one of the petitioners in the case, making allegations
against Enforcement Directorate Chief Arun Mathur and two
other officials.

Subramanium said officers are making a fairly delicate
investigation and nothing should be done to undermine them and
it was an attempt to "hack" the probe.

"In the affidavits, serious allegations have been made.
It is very important for us to respond. There is an attempt to
hack the investigation. Somebody is attempting to hack the
entire exercise. We have to be extra-guarded," he said adding
that "names are being dropped" and the purpose is to do
anything that derails the investigation.

"The probe is on the track and every possible attempt
is made to hack it," the Solicitor General said.

However, his submission was opposed by senior advocate
Rajeev Dhavan who was appearing for former supercop Julio
Rebeiro and others.

He said the Solicitor General was making "inappropriate
statements" about the eminent perosns who have filed petitions
for retrieving the black money parked by Indians in banks
abroad.

"We are not hacking the investigation," he said adding
"we are not coming in the way of investigation".

Is it a part of the ED report that the investigation
has been hacked"? he said.

The Bench asked the government and the ED to respond to
the allegations made in the affidavits and sought a clear
stand from them on the issue of handing over the investigation
of the black money to a Special Investigating Team.

It also asked them to file an affidavit relating to
the probe in determining the source of money stashed in
foreign banks.

PTI