NEW DELHI: A day after the Narendra Modi government announced formation of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe 'black money', CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, who is also part of the SIT, has reportedly asked his teams to collect all the information regarding black money in association with other agencies and prepare a report. It was CBI, which had first given an official figure to the black money. Former CBI director A P Singh had claimed in February 2012 that "Indians are the largest depositors in banks abroad with an estimated 500 billion US dollars (nearly Rs 24.5 lakh crore) of illegal money stashed in tax havens such as Mauritius, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, British Virgin Islands etc". A formal order regarding the formation of SIT is awaited. CBI sources say Sinha may involve some select officers from the Economic Offences Wing, BS&FC and other specialised units to assist other agencies including Reserve Bank of India, IB, RAW, ED and CBDT. According to sources, the members of SIT would hold a meeting after the formal order is issued. A P Singh had claimed that CBI had reached the figure of black money (Rs 24.5 lakh crore) through different independent sources. Since all the agencies have to work on this together, the information would be shared and SIT chief Justice MB Shah, a former SC Judge, would be briefed accordingly. As the nodal agency of Interpol in India, CBI's role in the probe will be crucial. SIT is expected to use the judicial route to seek information from tax havens while the new government is likely to expedite the process at bureaucratic levels. Sources say the countries might also be asked at highest levels by MEA to assist in the probe.
TNN | 29 May, 2014