Supreme Court rejects govt's plaint against SIT on black money

The Supreme Court has rejected the central government's petition against the setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the issue of black money and slammed it for lack of efforts to bring back the black money stashed away in foreign banks.

The court said for the last 60 years, no government at the centre took any steps to monitor and retrieve black money stashed away in secret vaults within and outside the country and eventually the court was constrained to step in.

''For more than 60 years, no government took any action on black money. Had the black money been in circulation in India, the per capita income would have gone up and taxes would have been reduced. The government has not been able to bring back the black money because of which the per capita income has gone down. Had this money been in circulation in India, per capita income would have gone up and taxes would have been reduced,'' the apex court observed.

''Thirty per cent of income tax being paid by us show how much was it important for the government to retrieve black money stashed in foreign banks,'' said the court.

The SC had a word of praise for senior advocate R Jethmalani, a former BJP leader, for his efforts to bring the matter to the court's notice.

The court had in July 2011 set up the SIT to monitor efforts to bring back the black money, but the government has opposed the matter and instead filed the petition against the court's move.

Jethmalani then filed a petition seeking court's intervention into the matter.

Critics say the government is against setting up a special investigation team to monitor and probe the issue of black money as it concerns politicians and business heads.

The Congress-led UPA government in its poll manifesto on Wednesday announced that it will appoint a special envoy to deal with the issue.

"It's the biggest fraud on the people of India that government will appoint a special envoy. The government of India has systematically ensured that the black money in foreign banks are not unearthed because they will suffer embarrassment," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.