Justice M.B. Shah, (retired) who heads the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team on black money, on Tuesday said there was no other alternative to curb black money than to scrap the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes. Welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pronouncement Justice Shah, a former Supreme Court judge, said this would spell the end of circulation of unaccounted wealth inside the country.
He said unaccounted money stashed abroad is a “different thing” and needs to be addressed separately.
“You have to understand, there is no other alternative. This is one of the methods to end circulation of unaccounted wealth across the country,” Justice Shah told The Hindu over the phone, minutes after the Prime Minister’s announcement.Looking to the future
“Certainly, this is going to help our work in future to end the black money menace,” Justice Shah said. He said the measure would cripple the efforts of criminals in money laundering.Call for ban
Earlier this year, the SIT had called for a complete ban on cash transactions above Rs. three lakh as well as setting a Rs. 15-lakh cap on cash holdings by individuals to prevent holding of unaccounted wealth in cash.
It had also recommended the government to frame a new law to make transactions above this threshold illegal if the amount was not paid by cheque, bank draft, or electronic clearing system through a bank account.
The SIT recommendation had followed a Finance Ministry statement that large amounts of unaccounted wealth was stored and used in the form of cash.