Need evidence, names not enough to take legal action: Arun Jaitley on black money list

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said Monday new names of Indians with Swiss bank accounts have come up and their veracity will be checked while 60 prosecutions have already been launched.

These are the 60 cases which have been established through an independent probe by Income Tax authorities, and the total illegal money is estimated to be to the tune of of Rs 1,500-1,600 crore.

Jaitley’s remarks came on a day the Indian Express reported that 1,195 Indians were in the list of clients from 200 countries who held accounts in HSBC bank from 2006-2007.

Top corporates and even some politicians were named in the “Swiss leaks”, said the newspaper, which collaborated with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Paris-based Le Monde daily.

“Some new names have been revealed whose veracity would be checked by authorities,” he told reporters here, while adding that the government has put in vigorous efforts towards digging black money during the last 6-7 months.

“The details that have come out today (Monday) are the ones we already have… question is not about names but evidences that we need.

The 1,195 Indian names are nearly double the 628 names that figured in an earlier HSBC list that was shared by the French government with India in 2011.

The 60 cases under the scanner have complaints under I-T laws, filed in various courts of the country. Penalty proceedings against 350 other account holders have been initiated, Jaitley said.

Apart from these accounts, Jaitley said, the revenue department is in touch with the informants for more names.

“Let me clarify in the first round these names which were of HSBC Bank, all these names were not of (all) Swiss banks but of one bank HSBC…In that connection the Government of India and the Revenue Department they did some communications at that time (4-5 years ago). These were details of 628 accounts,” he said.

In the list, there were some entries with only names, while some accounts were identifiable and some were not, he added.

Jaitley said that out of 628 account holders named in the previous HSBC list, assessment in case of about 350 has been completed and the process of imposing penalty has been initiated.

“Remaining assessment would be completed by March 31, 2015,” he said, while adding that legal action would be taken against law violators.


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