SC reconstitutes SIT on black money with Justice M B Shah as its head

The Supreme Court on Thursday reconstituted the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that it had set up to monitor a probe into black money stashed abroad, appointing Justice M B Shah as its chairperson.

Justice M B ShahThe court also appointed Justice Arijit Passayat, a retired Supreme Court judge, as the vice chairperson of the SIT.

A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu passed the order reconstituting the team after previous SIT chief Justice P B Jeevan Reddy expressed his inability to head the team recently.

Directing the union government, which was opposing the constitution of a SIT, to issue a notification in this regard within three weeks, the court observed, "In view of the inability expressed by Justice Reddy... we now request Union of India to issue appropriate notification in this regard appointing Justice Shah in three weeks' time," the bench said, and asked SIT to start working at the earliest.

 On 4 July 2011, the apex court had ordered the setting up of a SIT, but the government had opposed the same and filed a review petition before the court for recalling its order. In March this year, the bench had dismissed the government's review plea.

Meanwhile, the apex court on Thursday also ordered the government to provide within three days the details of 26 Indians who were revealed as having money stashed in Liechtenstein Bank in Germany.

Out of the 26 names, investigation against 18 individuals is over and prosecution had been launched against 17 by the Income Tax department while one person has died, the centre had said earlier to the court.

Appearing for the central government, solicitor general Mohan Parasharan said the names were procured by the government from German authority and submitted two sealed envelopes, one containing the names of 18 people and their account details and the other with names of eight people.

Filing the affidavit through the joint secretary of the revenue department, the centre said the list of 26 names of Indian origin included 12 trusts, including Ambrunova Trust, And Marline Management, Manichi trust, Ruvish trust, Dainese Stifung and Dryade Stiftung, Urvashi Foundation and Raj Foundation among others.

"The information regarding outstanding amounts in the accounts maintained by 12 trusts with LGT Bank in Liechtenstein was received by the government of India from the Greman Tax Authority in March 2009," as per the affidavits.