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Court to hear Centre's plea for recall of order on black money

The Centre has succeeded in its efforts at getting its application to recall/modify the July 4 order on ‘black money' listed for regular hearing, with the matter coming up on August 16 before a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court.

Acting on petitions filed by the former Union Law Minister, Ram Jethmalani, and others, the court had ordered constitution of a special investigation team headed by the retired Supreme Court judge, B.P. Jeevan Reddy, and with the retired Supreme Court judge, M.B. Shah, as its vice-chairman.

On July 15, the Centre filed an application for recall of the order stating that it was without jurisdiction. “The order impinges upon the well-settled principle that courts do not interfere with the economic policy which is in the domain of the Executive and that it is not the function of the court to sit in judgment over matters of economic policy, which must necessarily be left to the expert bodies. Courts do not supplant the views of experts with its own views.”

Normally, review petitions are heard in the chambers of judges and not in open court. However, the present application will be heard by a Bench comprising Justices Altamas Kabir, Cyriac Joseph and S.S. Nijjar (who was part of the earlier Bench).

The Centre, in its application, said: “The said order impinges upon the principle that in matters of utilities, tax and economic policy, legislation and regulation cases, the court exercises judicial self-restraint if not judicial deference to the acts of the Executive, since the Executive has obligations and responsibility both constitutionally and statutorily. The discussions of economic theories and the wide-ranging criticism of the state in paras 1 to 20 are uncalled for, unjustified and made without any discussion in court or material thereof.”

The Union government said: “The said order has the effect of completely eliminating the role and denuding the constitutional responsibility of the Executive, which itself is answerable to Parliament, and it directly interferes with the functions and obligations of the Executive, more particularly, since it is ordered that the Special Investigation Team will report directly to the Supreme Court, therefore excluding the Executive, and consequently Parliament also.”

On steps to retrieve black money stashed away abroad, the application said: “India has initiated the process of negotiation with 74 countries to broaden the scope of the Article on Exchange of Information to specifically allow for exchange of banking information and information without domestic interest. As on date, it has completed negotiations with 19 existing DTAA countries to update this Article. These agreements have also been initialled. Eighteen new DTAAs have been finalised where the Exchange of Information Article is in line with the international standards.”


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 12:54:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/court-to-hear-centres-plea-for-recall-of-order-on-black-money/article2354475.ece

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