The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to submit six reports from various agencies in connection with the investigation into the Panama Papers leak. The apex court has given four weeks’ time to file the reports and said would then decide if the case merits a probe by a special investigation team. The court will take up the matter again on April 18, reported ANI.
In October last year, the central government had set up a multi-agency group to fast-track the investigation into the Indians named in the Panama Papers. The group includes representatives from the Central Board of Direct Taxation, Reserve Bank of India, Financial Intelligence Unit and Enforcement Directorate.
The top court was hearing a petition file by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma. The petitioner had sought a court-monitored investigation into the Indian offshore account holders and stock market regulators whose names had cropped up in the papers that were leaked.
In April 2016, a major leak of millions of documents from the database of a Panama-based law firm – Mossack Fonseca – had revealed the hidden offshore wealth of some of the world’s top leaders and celebrities. The list had included 500 Indians.
Sharma had earlier demanded a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the Panama paper leaks. The Centre had then told the court that around Rs 1,282 crore has been levied in 159 cases related to concealment of taxes owed to the government. “So far, 164 prosecution complaints have been filed in 75 cases. The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team on black money has been kept updated on the progress of these investigations,” read the Centre’s affidavit.