Why Govt is reluctant in disclosing info on black money?: SC

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) Talking tough, the SupremeCourt today questioned the Government as to why it wasreluctant in disclosing the names of Indian nationals who haveallegedly stashed black money in foreign banks.

"What is the difficulty in disclosing the information,"a Bench comprising B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar asked whenSolicitor General Gopal Subramanium informed the bench thatGovernment has got the details but did not want to reveal it.

The court''s remarks came after the Governmentcontended that it has got the information from the Germangovernment pertaining to the bank accounts of Indian citizensin Liechtenstein Bank there.

"What is the privilege you are claiming for notdisclosing the information (about those who have moneydeposited in foreign banks)," the Bench asked Subramanium.

After the court''s poser, Subramanium submitted thathe would take instructions from the government with referenceto the names of the Indian nationals holding bank accounts inforeign countries.

The court was hearing a petition filed by notedcriminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who along with some retiredbureaucrats and police officers approached it seekingdirections to the government to take steps to bring blackmoney stashed in foreign bank back to the country.

The court said it would like persons includingPune-based businessman Hassan Ali Khan, who is being probed bythe Enforcement Directorate(ED) in connection with allegedblack money stashed in foreign banks, to be impleaded as aparty to the petition.

"If the names of the account holders are before usthen why not implead them in the case. Let them come," thecourt.

The Centre also submitted that it has no problem inplacing status report on its investigation on any individual.

"I am prepared to give status report on anyindividual. There is no difficulty in giving status report. Weare committed to our position that there has been taxavoidance cases," the SG said.

The court, however, said that it was a seriousproblem and not only about tax avoidance.

"Issues involved in the case are serious and of largerdimension. Its not only about tax-avoidance," the court said.

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