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Know someone with black money? Tell these to Special Investigation Team

New delhi: Anyone who has specific and definite information on black money can share it with Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team going into the issue that can crack down on those stashing money abroad and at home.

The SIT, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice M B Shah, will open a channel of communication shortly through which the public can use to share "definite" information and vital inputs about black money including foreign bank accounts.

The SIT, which also has former apex court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat as vice-chairman, has said such a step was aimed at detecting and prosecuting all direct or indirect instances of illegal generation of funds and evasion of government taxes.

"We will be issuing a public advertisement in this regard very soon...may be within a week's time. Members of the public can write to the SIT through the Internet and send to it to the official email id which will be publicised or send it by post to the secretariat of the panel," Justice Pasayat said.

He, however, said that any information sent to the SIT should be "definite and specific" about the reported black money instance. "The public can share with us the name, address, bank details or any other such vital information which can be verified and acted upon. Once we receive it, the agencies on the panel, according to the requirements of the respective case, will be asked to look into it," he said.

Justice Pasayat said the exercise is meant to bring the public closer to the SIT which has the mandate to deal with the problem of unaccounted money and to initiate legal action against the offenders, both in India and abroad.

Public could give specific information, even preferring anonymity. "But if the information is vague then it will be futile to act on such a thing as it will involve a lot of efforts by the agencies on this panel -- whether it is the Income Tax department, the CBI or the Central Excise department," the SIT Vice-Chairman said.

"We wouldn't want speculative information. We can assure the country that a good information on any type of black money instance will be acted upon," Justice Pasayat said. Meanwhile, sources said the modalities on launching the portal will be framed soon. It would be akin to a similar effort which was launched by the government in June 2011 when the Finance Ministry had launched a black money email feedback service for the public to share ideas in this regard.

The 2011 initiative, in which an email id [email protected] was launched, was meant to invite ideas and suggestions from the public to tighten the mechanism and rules in the country to check black money.

This time the SIT is keen only on actionable information which will be taken to logical and legal conclusion. Its results will also be disclosed to the public as and when the legal process against an offender comes to a close, the sources said.

They said the SIT secretariat has already been given the required staff by the finance ministry to perform clerical and data analysis tasks. The SIT has recently got a list of 627 accounts of Indians in the HSBC bank, Geneva, from the Supreme Court which has asked it submit a latest status report in this regard by this month-end or early December.

With the specific agenda of thrashing out issues and ensure coordination, the government on Friday appointed outgoing CBDT Chairman K V Chowdary as an Advisor to this high-powered panel which has the heads of 11 different agencies and departments on it.




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