New Delhi: A high power committee comprising the heads of various probe agencies and specialised departments has been constituted by the Centre to monitor the investigation and steps taken to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam informed the Supreme Court during the hearing of a petition filed by senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Monday.

The 10-member committee, chaired by the revenue secretary would also serve as the nodal agency in all investigations related to cases of money laundering and other economic offences.

Other members of the panel include directors of CBI, Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Enforcement Directorate, the chairman of CBDT, the director general of Revenue Intelligence, the director general of DGNC (Directorate General of Narcotics Control), the director of Foreign Intelligence Office (FIO) and joint secretary of Foreign Trade.

The panel would work in close co-ordination with secretaries in the Ministry of Home, Defence and External Affairs.

Any action against an accused would be initiated only after the committee completes a thorough investigation in a case.

Notably,the Apex Court had instead suggested the government to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe cases related to black money stashed in foreign tax havens.

Discounting the measure adopted by the government, Jethmalani’s counsel Anil Dewan termed the step as an evasive action from forming the SIT.

“In 1993, a report submitted by NN Vohra also suggested forming of high power committee, but it never took shape,” Dewan informed the court. Dewan also questioned the government’s stand of making the names of account holders in foreign banks public.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate ED) submitted another report in sealed cover in the Supreme Court. According to sources, the report mentions the name of an IAS officer who is also a petitioner in the case.

The next hearing in the case has been fixed for Thursday.

JPN/Bureau