New Delhi: In an important revelation, the Centre on Monday released eight names against whom it has started prosecution for allegedly stashing black money in foreign banks. Pradip Burman (former director, Dabur India Limited) and Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya (chief promoter of Rajkot-based Shreeji Trading Company) are the Indians named in an affidavit filed by the government in the Supreme Court. Goa-based mining company Timblo Private Limited and its five directors were also among the names that figured in the list.
The affidavit, filed days after the government came under attack from political rivals that it was chary of revealing names, said that these names have been received from French authorities and other countries. Promising to disclose more names of black money holders who have come under its scanner, the government said that all foreign bank accounts cannot be termed as "illegal".
The additional affidavit on the black money issue was filed today in furtherance of its affidavit recently when it had said that names of account holders in foreign banks cannot be disclosed till there is evidence of tax evasion against them and prosecution is launched in India. While Burman's name was received from French authorities, the names of Lodhiya and others have been received from "other countries".
The list names Timblo Private Limited and its directors Mrs Radha Satish Timblo, Chetan S Timblo, Rohan S Timblo, Mrs Anna C Timblo and Mrs Mallika R Timblo. It was not clear whether the account holder is the company or its directors. Shortly after the disclosure in the Supreme Court, Dabur India promoter family, Burmans said the account complied with all legal requirements.
"We wish to state that this account was opened when he (Pradip) was an NRI, and was legally allowed to open this account," a Dabur spokesperson said in a statement. "We have followed all the laws and the complete details regarding the account have been voluntarily, and as per law, filed with the Income Tax Department, and appropriate taxes paid, wherever applicable," he added.
Lodhiya denied having a Swiss bank account. "We have already declared in the income tax and there is nothing...We don't have any Swiss account that is the only thing which I can say," he said. Radha Timbo declined to comment on her name being mentioned in the affidavit, saying she has to first study it before commenting. The government in its 10-page affidavit submitted that it cannot disclose all the information and names of account holders in overseas banks, received from foreign countries, unless there is a "prima facie" evidence of wrongdoing for launching prosecution for tax evasion.
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