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Updated: September 2, 2011 12:56 IST

SIT on black money is judicial overreach: Centre

J. Venkatesan
Comment (25)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre for the lag in investigations into the issue of black money stashed abroad. File photo
AP The Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre for the lag in investigations into the issue of black money stashed abroad. File photo

The Centre on Friday moved the Supreme Court to recall its July 4 order directing that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) be constituted to probe the black money case. It described the order as ‘judicial overreach.'

The review petition said the order, which directed that the SIT be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, amounted to judicial overreach into executive functions and was against the principle of ‘separation of powers.'

The Centre, while seeking to recall the order on the grounds that it was “bad,” requested the court to suspend the directions. The petition said: “The said order is without jurisdiction inasmuch as it impinges upon and goes contrary to the established doctrine of separation of powers. Besides, the interim order is faulty as the economic policies of the government are beyond judicial review.”

The Centre submitted that the court had gone beyond the prayers in the petition filed by the former Union Law Minister, Ram Jethmalani, and others as there was no prayer asking for the constitution of a SIT. The executive was not laggardly in its approach to tackling the black money menace, it said, pointing out that it had constituted a High Level Committee to address the issue.

Citing slackness in the investigation, the court had, on July 4, constituted the SIT under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court Judge B.P. Jeevan Reddy to take all steps for bringing back unaccounted for monies unlawfully kept in banks abroad. The court rejected the Centre's contention that since a High Level Committee had already been set up there was no need for a Special Investigation Team.

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Supreme Court is correct! It has become very obvious and clear that Congress Government is the culprit. I'm sure it has its supremos in the list, that's the reason that they are not releasing the list. If supreme court does not act, these fanatics like Pranab, Chidamabaram, Sibal will just hide the names from the people. Pity on Manmohan singh! what is the use of him talking about corruption and acting to be honest? He should act for the nation's sake!

from:  Manoj P
Posted on: Aug 25, 2011 at 05:24 IST

Looks like Gov't bluster will fail under weight of its own lies. Initially, the Government had filed an affidavit seeking the review with the claim that the Bench had misconstrued or not considered arguments of former S.G Subrahmanyam. Spec. This related to the Court noting in its order that the Sol. Gen. submitted, in Court, that the Govt has no "in principle" objection to a direct Court monitored investigation. However, it now appears that there may be moves to change the affidavit. to the UoI of India not having authorised former SG to make such a submission. In the order itself, the bench of Reddy and Nijjar specifically observe that having agreed to direct court monitored investigation, the UoI's objection to SIT as strange. SIT is less intrusive than a Court monitored investigs, because it is one step removed from exec. domain and more efficient. Did the Govt try to arm twist former SG into writing a false affidavit, and having failed changing its tune? Did the Govt attempt perjury?

from:  P.Kumar
Posted on: Jul 20, 2011 at 11:26 IST

Well, the move by the government clearly shows that now they will do everything they can to block the decision of Supreme Court. Now the government is openly challenging the court on the issue, it is because of the poor response from the people on the issue of black money. When Baba Ramdev tried to raise the issue of black money, he was forced to leave it and there was no one in his support. Only way to bring money back is to show our support to the court so that it can take decisions in nation interest without succumbing to political pressure.

from:  Shailendra
Posted on: Jul 17, 2011 at 01:21 IST

All comments are valid and true, but how it will affect the shameless people who is neck deep in corruption?

from:  Chan
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 18:32 IST

Govt. doesn't show the same enthusiasm and zeal in bringing the culprits to book as it does in blocking any committee that goes against its interests. Many right-thinking citizens would agree with what SC has done. Govt. should withdraw the review petition and should cooperate with the SC-appointed committee

from:  Nikhil
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 17:17 IST

To have moved a REVIEW PETITION for the recall of SIT is inexplicable, intriguing and totally mischievous. Centre must understand this is not a war against separation of powers but against the inaction of the powers. The establishment of SIT by SC should be welcome by the Centre to absolve and restore Gandhi honour. Many prominent citizens of high repute are making public allegations of MINISTERS maintaining Secret A/cs in tax havens by quoting the names and benamis. They are just allegations but do not seem to be baseless. Hassan Ali is in jail today and IT has slapped tax worth billions on him - is the direct result of the initiatives of such spirited citizens and a matching judicial activism in line with the public aspirations and sentiments. To call this a judicial overreach and ignore this is only stupidity which will boomerang on them apart depriving the nation of a golden opportunity to bring back money.

from:  Nagar
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 13:22 IST

In my view the learned court had not intruded into executive ''function'' but rather into latter's failure to comply with a serious investigation, that very much falls into judicial purview!

from:  Dillibabu Diwakar
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 13:19 IST

"If the wind blows here, it clearly means that there is a vacuum somewhere else." Ever since independence our political class has treated the nation as their paternal feifdom and sought to implement the laws as it best suited them. There needs to be a full stop to this attitude. If the judiciary overreached, it is surely becasue the legislature has left a huge vacuum.

from:  KVSKumar
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 11:48 IST

The intervention of the Supreme Court in the investigation of the alleged wrongdoings of a BJP government in a State or even those of one of its ministers from a non-Congress party had not worried the Manmohan Singh government. Hence this sudden realisation of a "judicial overreach into executive functions" by the Supreme Court in the matter of a probe in the black money case gives rise to an interpretation in the public mind which could be damaging to the probity image of the Prime Minister and his government.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 10:56 IST

God! save our country from these politicians who are doing their every bit to thwart any good attempt made by any judicial authority. Probably they have too much at stake in foreign lands and they need some time to manage it to some other countries. They have failed miserably to take any concrete action against the menace and when someone is trying to do it, they are trying hard to curb it. I sincerely hope that these people should never come to power in future and should be punished harshly for their misdeed.

from:  Sandy
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 09:41 IST

Acting on black money is not a matter of economic policy. It's matter of enforcing the laws. I believe the judiciary is well within its rights to constitute an SIT in the face of executive inaction.

from:  K Palaka
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 08:58 IST

The supreme court needs to hasten the mechanism to bring back Black money as the ulterior motive of the government is clear and known to the people of India. Black money, corruption and smuggling are the burning issues that need priority over the other issues.

from:  S S Prasad
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 08:55 IST

The formation of SIT on black money by Supreme Court is need of the hour. When the civil society asked them to preapre a strong LokPal bill and asked them to bring black money they termed them as mask of some body and called them also thugs.Similarly when the Supreme Court asked central govt to reveal the names of the tax evaders they didnot do so. Why they are laging behind to form fool proof bill and threatening to Annaji also.He is true Gandhian and we wont be able to see such people in your politician who claimed that they are elected people. Be true savior of down trodden people. Use your money that you have procured through unethical ways. so do not interfere when Supreme Court has done good endevour by forming SIT on black money

from:  Balachandra Prabhu.A
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 08:37 IST

It is not a judicial overreach. It is an extreme failure of the executive. The parliamentary democracy has been made a mockery (for example, the way the PAC report has been treated by members of PAC and the speaker). Tardy progress, refusal to divulge information, a cabinet full of corrupt ministers, intolerance, a remotely controlled puppet PM --- Does the judiciary have any choice? The judiciary is the only functioning institution. It has no choice other than this.

from:  Ravi Narayanan
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 08:07 IST

Stonewalling yet again! Perhaps calling in the News of The World would yield quicker results!?!

from:  Sujith Panikkar
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 07:31 IST

When the real sources behind the power of the government is under scanner, of course they will not like it. There have been many such incidents of 'judicial overreach' before. But all those times, it was not affecting those who fund the political parties and runs the government from behind the curtains.

from:  Narayanan
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 07:18 IST

There is so much red tape in the central govt, the committees after committees are set up with out tangible outcome. At least judiciary has shown leadership and must be congratulated to clean up the system. If not run the Executive branch as it has failed across the board in its action and urgency in effort.

from:  Sunny
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 07:03 IST

Judiciary is the only remedy available for the citizen when there is an 'Executive over-reach', affecting his economics and security concerns. This only shows the unwillingness and insincerity of the Govt to come face to face with judiciary on the question of Black Money. Today 'judicial over-reach' has become a hackneyed term in political discourse.

from:  G.Naryanaswamy
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 06:51 IST

This makes very clear; how afraid government is of being exposed if the truth about the black money is out. Shame !!

from:  Sandeep Kathe
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 03:55 IST

It is because of the gross underreach of the government that the Supreme Court has reacted. INstead in finiding fault with others why does not the govenment and the politicians who loot the country get the money back on their own accord?

from:  sethu
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 02:19 IST

The Supreme Court has,in its wisdom,rightly ordered for the constitution of a SIT in the best interests of the cause concerned. There maybe a reasonable doubt that the executive may not be right earnest in bringing back the black money for the reason that most of the elite forming part of the executive could eventually be entangled.The executive may not be comfortable with the course of action contemplated by the Supreme Court but the nation has come to repose more faith in the activities of the apex court than of the executive.I wish the supreme court is firm in its resolve regarding the SIT.

from:  G.Rajaram
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 02:09 IST

I wholeheartedly support The Supreme Court's verdict, and this pleading from the Government against it, yet again seems to be their (The Government's) guilt of it's members amassing black money, and to manipulate the situation thereof, in The Government's favour. History will record that this Government was on the defensive, each time someone or some Institution tried to uncover the harsh truth on the subject. I am however certain that Justice will prevail.

from:  Sunit Jang Bahadur
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 01:45 IST

On one hand our committed Govt. says it wants the corrupt behind bars and on the other it hurriedly brings CBI out of RTI ACT, blocks civil society's moves, defies Supreme Court to protect its own dirty deeds. Its high time for this Govt. to remove the veil and tell the nation what exactly is its true face; With Corrupt or With Law & Justice.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 01:35 IST

There you go!! This is the finale of the the constitutional show down I have been expecting!! If the Government has been sincere and honest in its commitment to bring the money back, would it have happened? So the corrupt politicians will have the black money stashed away and they say they themselves will expose themselves and bring the money back!! When the disappointed Supreme Court intervenes it is constitutional over reach!! I 100% agree with the government that they are correct. At the same time, Government (politicians) themselves will never expose themselves. We need a constitutional body (Lokpal) with constitutional powers to do these things!! Existing provisions in constitution do not allow this. Constitution needs to be changed and Lokpal established!!

from:  Siva Ramaswami
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 01:30 IST

When the executive arm of the government in camatose state or so inept that its functions can be ignored, other arms of the establishment should take control and run the administration. The Court was right in directing the Government in this matter.

from:  Mani Sandilya
Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 at 01:08 IST
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