Black money: FM Jaitley says govt will name only those having prosecutable case

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Oct 27: Even as the government revealed the names of three people in its affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that names of only those people will be made public against whom there is a prosecutable case in connection with tax evasion through offshore accounts.

Amid the Congress asking for disclosure of all names of black money holders, the finance minister told reporters: “We will disclose only those names against whom we have prosecutable evidence.”

Earlier in the day, the government in its affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court revealed the names of three people, including Pradip Burman, former Executive Director of Dabur group, Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya, a Rajkot based bullion trader and Radha S Timbola, a Goa based miner, who have stashed their black money abroad.

Dabur, however, reportedly issued a statement saying that Mr. Burman’s account is legal and it is “unfortunate” that every foreign account holder is being painted with the same brush.

The statement reportedly said: “We wish to state that this account was opened when he was an NRI, and was legally allowed to open this account. We have followed all the laws and the complete details regarding the account have been voluntarily, and as per law, filed with the Income Tax Department, and appropriate taxes paid, wherever applicable.”

Lodhiya denies possession of black money

Bullion trader and jeweller Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya on Monday denied having a Swiss bank account and any possession of black money, stating that he had already declared his assets to the Income Tax department.

“I don’t have any Swiss bank accounts. I was on holiday and I received the news via the media myself. I do not know how my name came to be on that list because I have already declared all my assets,” Lodhiya told a news agency.

“I had already declared my possessions to the income tax department, and I am going to reply to the government on this allegation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Goa-based miner Radha Timblo, who is also accused of stashing black money abroad, refrained from giving a statement.

“Once I have seen the affidavits, I will come back with a proper explanation. As of now, I have no comment,” she said.

The affidavit reportedly told the apex court that it would not be able to reveal all names unless they are prosecuted in any court of law. The court will resume hearing in the case on Tuesday.

It may be noted that there are 138 people on Centre’s list of people who have black money stashed away in foreign banks.

(With Agency Inputs)

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