Back to square one
The Central government on Wednesday submitted to the Supreme Court names of the 627 people who are holding accounts in foreign banks revealed to it by the French government.
Govt submits list of 627 names to SC in sealed envelope
- Apex court orders envelope be handed over to SIT
- SIT already got the list in June
- Court sets December 3 as next date of hearing
- SIT to submit status report to the court by Nov 30
- Deadline for probe under I-T Act is Mar 31, 2015
- I-T dept seeks SIT nod to initiate probe in 300 cases
New Delhi: The Central government on Wednesday submitted to the Supreme Court names of the 627 people who are holding accounts in foreign banks revealed to it by the French government.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi handed over two sealed envelopes to the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu. Rohatgi said that half of these account holders are Indian residents and the other half are Non-Resident Indians. These accounts pertain up to 2006.
Rohatgi said that action had been initiated into the matter. Some of them have paid taxes while others are under investigation. He also told the court the Income Tax Act has been amended to extend the limitation period up to March 31, 2015, for recovering taxes from these account holders. Under the earlier provision, a limitation period for recovery of taxes was six years which in these cases came to an end in 2012.
The court directed that the sealed envelopes containing 627 names, including correspondence with the French government, be given to Special Investigation Team (SIT) chair- man Justice M .B Shah and vice-chairman Justice Arijit Pasayat. The SIT was set up by the apex court on July 4, 2011. Directing further hearing of the matter on December 3, the court said that the SIT team would submit its status report on the steps taken by it in pursuance to the list of 627 account holders.
Rohatgi said that the deadline for investigation under the Income Tax Act into these accounts was March 31, 2015. The SIT would submit a status report in the court on November 30. The last date for investigation and assessment into all these accounts was March 31, 2015. The AG also said that this same list had been submitted to the SIT in June earlier this year. All the 627 accounts are at HSBC Bank in Geneva -- the details of which India got from the French government. These are also known as stolen data and when the Indian government approached the Swiss authorities for assistance, they refused to help, saying that they don't deal with stolen data. However, HSBC Bank said that if the Indian authorities got an NoC from the account holders, then it would share the details. As a consequence, about 50-60 account holders gave their consent with NoC.