Cricket betting – source of black money worth Rs 3 lakh crore?

Special Investigation Team submits report on unaccounted wealth from tax havens

New Delhi: Cricket betting has emerged as one of the key sources of black money generation and according to one account it could be as high as Rs 3 lakh crore which should be controlled, the Supreme Court was told on Wednesday.

The report of the court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), submitted to the court, has put the total amount from 339 accounts mentioned in HSBC bank was Rs. 6,400 crore.

On the basis of investigations carried out so far in respect of the 628 entries/persons having accounts in HSBC bank, there was no amount mentioned in 289 cases while a sum of Rs 237 crore has been recovered as tax and penalties on black money, it said.

"Large amounts of black money are being transacted every year. As per the FICCI report, it comes to more than Rs three lakh crore. This is required to be controlled," the apex-court appointed said in its brief summary to a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu,

The (SIT) submitted its report on the progress made in tracing and bringing unaccounted wealth from tax havens.

In its third report, the SIT has given the summary of steps taken, the results achieved and suggestions which can be adopted to bring illegal money back to country.

The SIT said it is awaiting response from various departments on its suggestions like making mandatory mentioning of the Permanent Account Number (PAN) in the invoice for sale and purchase of goods worth Rs one lakh or more.

The panel sought a direction from the court to the authority for implementation of its earlier suggestion that five additional courts be set up in Mumbai to deal with such cases.

Dealing with the investigation carried so far in respect of the 628 entries/ persons having accounts in HSBC bank, for which information came from France, it said that in 289 cases, no amount is mentioned.

"Amount is mentioned in 339 cases. (a) Total of peak balance is approx. USD 1.9 billion (i.e Rs 8624 crore). (B) Rs 2,224 is the total amount that of repeated/ duplicated entries on account of there being joint account holders/ beneficiaries. (C) Hence, net amount comes to Rs 6,400 crore," the report said.

The report further said, "Amount of Rs 237 crores approx. is recovered on tax and penalties demand raised. However, it does not include the amount paid by self assessment tax in certain cases."

It also said that besides the 628 cases, additional information is being gathered in other 605 matters which are currently under investigation.

It also said that on the basis of report of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), inquiries have been conducted and the names of 430 resident Indians out of the total 534 Indians have been traced.

The panel further said that the IT returns in these cases shows that such transactions were not disclosed to the Income Tax department.

"During the course of investigation, 176 persons have admitted their relationship with such offshore entities/ transactions. Further inquiry is under progress," it said.

It said that the CBDT has been able to "detect unaccounted income to the tune of Rs 7,078 crore during 2013-14 and corresponding figure is Rs 4,456.96 crore for 2014-15 (till Feb. 15)".

It also quoted a report of Global Financial Integrity (GFI) which revealed that illicit financial flow from India was "much more" and remained uncontrolled. The country ranks fourth in the list of 142 nations on the illegal money flow, it said.

The panel agreed with the suggestion of senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who has filed the PIL on the black money, that every candidate should file an affidavit before the election that he or she does not hold any illegal money abroad and in the event of contrary findings, the persons be barred from electoral politics.

The same yardstick could be made applicable to senior appointees in the government like RBI Governor, SEBI Chairman, CBI Director, etc., the panel said.

The SIT also referred to the alleged non-prosecution of Yadav Singh, CEO of NOIDA Authority, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. A large amount of unaccounted money was allegedly recovered from Singh's possession.

( Source : PTI )
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