New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday made it clear that the government will follow due course of law to tackle cases of blackmoney stashed abroad.

He added, "Hassan Ali has not been allowed to leave the country. Supreme Court directions in this regard will be observed."

When members in the Lok Shaba demanded for making public the names of persons who have stashed blackmoney in foreign banks, Mukherjee said, “A department of his ministry has also raided a CPI(M) leader. But I cannot hang her. The due process of law has to be followed."

Left parties turned red over these words from Mukherjee and trooped into the Well demanding an apology from the Minister. CPI(M) members and Mukherjee had a heated exchange.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was sitting next to Mukherjee, looked visibly upset at the remarks and after an interference of Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal the Finance Minister took his seat.

After the House re-assembled, Mukherjee said the Income Tax Department was following the prosecution of Hassan Ali, whom it had earlier described as the leading tax defaulter of the country.

Mukherjee said India and Switzerland had signed last year an amendment to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement to specifically provide for exchange of banking information as well as information without domestic interest.

When the agreement comes into force, India would be able to get banking information from Switzerland in specific cases for any period beginning April 1, 2011, he said.

(Agency)