Two persons and a company were named by the Centre today in the Supreme Court, to have kept intact black or untaxed money in their foreign bank accounts.
Dabur India group’s head Pradip Burman, Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya, who is a Rajkot-based bullion trader and Goa-based mining firm Timblo’s five members have been listed in the affidavit submitted by the government on black money in the Supreme Court.
The Centre has also said that those who have been named are being accused of tax evasion because unaccounted for money was recovered from their foreign bank accounts.
Though Mr. Pradip Burman is not a part of Dabur any longer, he’s listed as a promoter.
A spokesperson of one of India’s top consumer goods companies – Dabur, 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,”
Mr. Lodhiya too denied any transgression, and said, “I do not have any Swiss account. I have declared all assets and I have not been served any notice.”
Radha Timblo, of the Goa-based Timblo company has said, “At different times there were some searches, raid and everything but we have to see the affidavit on what basis it has come in our name.”
In its affidavit, the government has told the court that it has no intentions of holding back any names and that all the names that the government knows of, or comes to know of will be exposed in cases where tax evasion was established.
The government affidavit said, “Every foreign account held by an Indian may not be illegal and names cannot be disclosed unless there is prima facie evidence of wrongdoing.”
The opposition had criticised the ruling BJP earlier for telling the court that tax treaties don’t permit for revelation of names until charges are framed in court. The Congress had further said that the promise made by the BJP to bring back the black money to Indian, within 100 days of assuming power was a total bluster.
The Centre also said that it is not necessary that every foreign account held by an Indian is illegal and that it cannot go on revealing names unless it has found ostensible evidence of the offence.
It further also assured the court that Switzerland shown willingness to furnish all the information regarding black money in cases where investigation has been carried out by the IT department.
The disclosure made by the government today, however, has come at a time when sources are suggesting that 4 Congress leaders, including a former junior minister are under investigation for black money.
Black money emanates from undisclosed incomes, which are generally avoided from reaching the eyes of the government, usually for the purpose of tax evasion, and sometimes, because criminal links are involved. Around one-thirds of black money dealings in India are believed to take place in the real estate, followed by manufacturing and shopping for gold and consumer goods.
Tushita is a political writer at thenational.net. Her deep rooted interest in politics, passion for writing and craze for travelling define her. Writing since her school days, she aspires to write lifelong and make the world a happier place to live with the power of her pen.