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Notification for SIT for black money cases to come out next week

LiveMint logoLiveMint 25-05-2014 PTI

New Delhi: The government is expected to bring out a notification by next week for creation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which will have “jurisdiction over all the cases” of unaccounted funds or black money stashed by Indians abroad.

The SIT will be headed by former Supreme Court judge M.B. Shah with justice Arijit Pasayat (retd) being the vice chairman.

Heads or top officers of ten investigative and enforcement agencies of the country will be the members of the exclusive panel. The terms of reference for the SIT stipulate that it “shall have jurisdiction over all the cases, where investigation has already commenced or pending or awaiting to be initiated or have completed” with regard to instances of black money and illicit funds generated and sent to overseas destinations and tax haven nations.

Sources in the finance ministry told PTI that a notification citing the terms of operations and final constitution of the SIT “would be made very soon” and most likely “by next week”.

The Supreme Court on 23 May had granted one week’s time to the Centre to set up an SIT under Shah to monitor all black money cases as per its direction.

“SIT will prepare a comprehensive action plan including the creation of necessary institutional structure that can enable the country to fight a battle against generation of unaccounted money,” the terms of reference for the SIT said.

The SIT, according to the terms of reference reference, “shall report to the court and shall inform the court about all the major developments, by filing periodic status reports from time to time, and for this purpose, the Union of India shall accord all the necessary financial material, legal, diplomatic resources both inside and outside the country to the SIT”.

The departments or officers that would form part of the SIT include secretary of the department of revenue under the ministry of finance, a nominated deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, director of the Intelligence Bureau, director of Enforcement, director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes, and director general Narcotics Control Bureau.

Also, directorate general of revenue intelligence, director of financial intelligence unit and joint secretary (foreign tax and tax research) in the Finance Ministry will be its members.

The apex court had on 1 May directed the Centre to handover within three days all documents and information collected by it in its probe in the cases of alleged stashing of black money in LGT bank AG in Liechtenstein, Germany, to Ram Jethmalani and others who raised the issue before it.

Justice Shah, who was earlier appointed as vice chairman by a 4 July, 2011 order, will take the place of former apex court judge B.P. Jeevan Reddy, who expressed his inability to continue as chairman due to personal reasons.

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