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Biggest names will be caught, says SIT chief

Biggest names will be caught, says SIT chief
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Biggest names will be caught, says SIT chief, The investigation into who has hidden money in foreign bank accounts will be completed by March 31, the deadline set by the Supreme Court

New Delhi: The investigation into who has hidden money in foreign bank accounts will be completed by March 31, the deadline set by the Supreme Court, said Justice MB Shah, stressing that "the biggest names will be caught. Whoever has looted this country will be caught and punished - economically and otherwise."

Justice Shah heads a special committee of former judges and regulators tasked by the top court to identify tax violators and draft a plan to recover the money from accounts in countries like Switzerland. "I am 100% confident that we will meet the March 31 deadline."

After an angry Supreme Court alleged inadequate progress in the case, the government submitted a list of 627 Indians with foreign bank accounts to judges, who said the document would be passed on in a sealed envelope to Justice Shah and Justice A Pasayat, who is Vice-Chairman of the Special Investigation Team.

The top court has made it clear that for now, the list will not be made public in compliance with India's tax treaties with other countries which demand no names be disclosed till charges are framed.

SIT has also invited information from the public. "The public can give us credible information on black money. We will investigate that information, but we want credible inputs - do not expect us to go on a fishing expedition."

Info can't be disclosed: Swiss govt

Amid a debate on disclosure of names of suspected black money holders, Switzerland said information exchanged under Swiss-India tax treaty cannot be disclosed "in principle" to a court or any other body outside the proceedings of a 'specific and relevant' case.

Explaining the treaty provisions about disclosure of such 'secret' information, a Swiss Finance Ministry spokesperson told PTI from Berne that authorities from the two countries are having "regular contacts on bilateral tax matters" but refused to comment on particular cases.

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