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Updated: September 11, 2009 19:47 IST

Jethmalani accuses Centre of withholding vital black money documents

PTI
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Former Union Minister and eminent lawyer, Ram Jethmalani. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.
The Hindu Former Union Minister and eminent lawyer, Ram Jethmalani. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.

Eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani and others, who have alleged government inaction in bringing back black money stashed in foregin banks, today told the Supreme Court that the Centre was withholding vital documents relating to the case.

They accused the Centre of adopting non-cooperative conduct by not supplying them vital documents which have bearing on the issue of black money in foreign banks.

The application filed on behalf of Jethmalani has sought 21 such documents and letters including the Indian government’s communication with German authorities, UBS AG Switzerland and LGT Bank, Liechtenstein.

An important document sought by them is the copy of the March 17, 2008, letter sent by the German Government to India in which it has been stated that it was not in a position to provide information as sought by India in a February 27, 2009, letter.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam posted the application for hearing on September 29 along with the main petition.

In the application, they alleged the authorities are determined to withhold these documents and such a belief is well-founded because in spite of several attempts made by them to obtain those documents they have not been supplied with.

Among the other documents, the application said for effectively assisting the court, they need the Centre’s March 5, 2009, letter to the Indian Ambassador to Germany relating to the issue of Indian taxpayers.

Further, they said the Department of Revenue was not giving them the documents relating to the showcause notice issued on December 29, 2008 to Pune-based businessman, Hasan Ali Khan, against whom Enforcement Directorate has lodged a complaint for violating Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The same is the position with his alleged co-conspirator Kashinath Tapuria relating to deposits made by them in UBS Bank, the application said.

They have also sought a copy of the letter sent by senior BJP leader L. K. Advani as the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha on April 6, 2008 to the Prime Minister.

Besides Mr. Jethmalani, five others, including former Punjab DGP K. P. S. Gill and former Secretary General of Lok Sabha, Subhash Kashyap, who are petitioners, have alleged the government was not taking action to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks.

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