New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to hear the Centre's plea seeking recall of its order for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising its retired judges to take over the probe into all black money cases. Read more: Apex Court deplores judges conduct
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir posted the recall application of the Centre for Wednesday for hearing.
However, noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani and other petitioners, on whose plea the Apex Court had constituted the SIT, criticised the government for seeking recall of the order of July 4.
Senior advocates Anil Diwan and R K Dhawan, appearing for the petitioners, contended the government's plea is not maintainable as instead of complying with the order it has approached the court for recalling the order.
They said the government should file a review petition instead of application for recalling the order.
The Centre, in its application, contended the SIT was formed without being prayed and cited ten main grounds among others for recall of the order in which it has been pulled up for the "laggardly pace" in investigations into the issue of black money stashed abroad.
"The documents reveal that Hasan Ali Khan has huge funds in his accounts to the extent of 800 million US dollars with a bank outside India," the Enforcement Directorate contended.
The agency, in its petition, alleged that various transactions led by Khan through his foreign bank accounts reveal his association with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.
"The documents point to deep linkage between Khan and Khashoggi," the agency further said while pressing for stay on Bombay High Court's order granting bail to Khan.
The High Court had granted bail to Khan on August 12 after observing that the agency had failed to show the wealth amassed by him was proceeds of crime.
"There are no ingredients of proceeds of crime in the case made out by the Enforcement Directorate against the applicant. He deserves to be released on bail," the High Court had said.
The ED had said that Khan and his arrested accomplice Kashinath Tapuriah had deep links with bank officials in the US, Switzerland, Singapore, UAE and other countries.
It had alleged that Khan has links with Khashoggi, and in 2003, USD 300 million was apparently received by him from the arms dealer from weapon sales.
It had also said the accused had created a complex maze of structures and transactions to hide the true source of funds and frustrate the investigations. The government in its application raised objections to the remarks made by the apex court criticising it in black money cases while appointing former judges - Justices B P Jeevan Reddy and M B Shah - as Chairman and Vice-chairman of SIT.
The bench had in its order said monies generated and stashed away reveal the degree of "softness of the State".
Listing worries arising out of unaccounted monies stashed in foreign banks, the bench had said "the quantum of such monies may be rough indicators of the weakness of the State, in terms of both crime prevention, and also of tax collection".
Raising its objection to the order, the government argued courts are neither concerned with the judicial review of the economic policy nor it was required for them to substitute their views on matters which fall within the ambit of the executive.
"That the judicial review is not concerned with the matters of economic policy as the courts do not substitute their views and judgement for that of the executive regarding the matters which fall within the domain/province of the executive. It is respectfully submitted that the courts do not supplant the views of experts by its own views," the Centre's application said.
While assailing the order for setting up of the SIT and making adverse remarks, the government contended the direction will eliminate and denude the constitutional responsibility of the executive.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to hear the Centre's plea seeking recall of its order for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising its retired judges to take over the probe into all black money cases.
Read more: Apex Court deplores judges conduct