After much dilly-dallying, the Centre on Tuesday handed the Supreme Court the names and documents of 18 Indians who have stashed black money in Germany's Liechtenstein Bank.
After resisting for more than three years, the government told the apex court that its income tax probe is complete in all 18 cases and prosecution is on in 17 as one of those named has died.
Apart from the 18, there is another list of 8 against whom, the government said, there was no proof of wrongdoing. The name of K M Mammen of Webster Foudation, Arun Kochhar from Urvashi Foundation and Ashok Jaipuria from Raj Foundation is in the list of 18 account holders.
Solicitor general Mohan Parasaran told the apex court that investigations are over against the 18. “The information regarding deposits/outstanding amounts in the accounts maintained by 12 trusties/entities with LGT bank in Liechtenstein was received by the government from German tax authorities in March 2009 under the Indo-Germany Double Taxation Avoidance Convention.”
A three-judge bench headed by Justice HL Dattu said it would discuss the content of documents and hear the matter on Thursday.
Germany handed over the list on March 18, 2009, but the government refused to divulge the names as it had to honour the commitment given under tax treaties. Under provisions of the tax treaties, information exchanged is to be used only for the purpose for which it is sought. The court had earlier pulled up the government over its reluctance to share information received from Germany about individuals stashing money in Liechtenstein Bank and cautioned it against contempt actions.
The Centre also stuck to its stand of refusing a SIT probe into the matter. In 2011, the Supreme Court set up the SIT, which includes two retired judges of the top court and the chiefs of the Research and Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau.