The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to complete prosecution of black money holders abroad under the Income Tax Act by March 31, 2015.
A Bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justices Madan B. Lokur and A.K. Sikri gave this direction to the Centre after senior counsel Anil Divan, appearing for petitioner Ram Jethmalani, said the defaulters and evaders whose names had been disclosed to the SIT would be off the hook if the income tax proceedings were not completed by then.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the Income Tax Act had been amended to extend the period of limitation for launching prosecution. He said if prosecution could not be completed by the deadline, the law would be suitably amended or appropriate orders passed. He said some people had accepted that they had accounts in foreign banks and paid tax. Proceedings against others were pending.
During the last hearing, the Centre submitted to the court in a sealed cover a list of 627 Indians holding black money in accounts abroad, along with a status report regarding the investigation.