(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) In one of its first major moves the narendra modi government has set up a high-profile special investigating team (sit) headed by a former supreme court judge to unearth the large amounts of illegal wealth allegedly stashed abroad by people who have evaded taxes or generated the money through illegal activities.
the decision was taken at the first meeting of the union cabinet held here on tuesday a day after modi and his council of ministers were sworn in.
a press release said the move was aimed at implementing a directive of the supreme court in this regard which had asked the government to outline the concrete measures taken by it to bring back such wealth to the country. last week the court had given the government a week to set up the sit and report to it.
the previous manmohan singh government had assured the court that the issue was being looked into and wednesday was the last day for apprising it of the steps taken.
modi and his bharatiya janata party which swept the recent polls to the country’s lower house of parliament had raised the issues of corruption and “black money” frequently during the election campaign and promised to act to bring back to the country such wealth stashed abroad. they had accused the previous congress-led united progressive alliance of inaction in the matter.
the sit will be headed by justice m.b. shah former judge of the supreme court as chairman and justice arijit pasayat former judge as vice-chairman the release said.
members of the sit include the heads of several financial and economic departments as well as intelligence and enforcement agencies. they are the secretary department of revenue; deputy governor reserve bank of india; director intelligence bureau; director enforcement; director central bureau of investigation; chairman of the central board of direct taxes; director-general narcotics control bureau; director-general revenue intelligence; director financial intelligence unit; director research and analysis wing; and joint secretary (ft& ir-1) cbdt.
the sit has been charged with the responsibility and duties of investigation initiation of proceedings and prosecution in cases of businessman hasan ali and other matters involving unaccounted money an official press release said.
the release said the sit would have jurisdiction in the cases where investigations have already commenced or are pending or awaiting to be initiated or have been completed. it will prepare a comprehensive action plan including creation of necessary institutional structure that could enable the country to fight the battle against unaccounted money.
the sit should report to the court the status of work from time to time the release added.
“tomorrow is the last date for the government’s response in this regard. the modi government has responded promptly without seeking any further time from the court’’ law and justice minister ravi shankar prasad told journalists here.
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