Supreme Court to review petition on black money stashed offshore

Supreme CourIn a petition to the Supreme Court (SC), former Union law minister Ram Jethmalani and others have sought directives to the Union government, for the retrieval of unaccounted money to the tune of Rs 70 lakh crore, which is allegedly stashed in foreign banks and financial institutions.

The petition is scheduled for a review by a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, on Wednesday, after senior counsel Anil Diwan, appearing for petitioners, made an spur-of-the-moment request for an early hearing of the case.

The petition also urges the court to instruct the government to begin the much-required talks with the foreign banks - predominantly the UBS Bank, Switzerland - for freezing the accounts of Indian bigwigs, like politicians and businessmen, who illicitly hold their assets in such offshore financial institutions.

In their appeal, the petitioners have also said that the unregistered foreign investment institutions had penetrated the stock market by the way of participatory notes, thereby concealing their credentials.

The appeal underlines the fact that if the black money hoarded overseas is retrieved, not only would the problem of poverty in India be solved, but the development efforts would also get a substantial boost!

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