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Black money case: Disclosure of names will make execution of treaties impossible, says AG

New Delhi, Oct. 17 (ANI): With the Centre telling the Supreme Court that it cannot disclose the names of all those having black money stashed abroad as it violates the double taxation avoidance agreement, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on Friday said if confidentiality is not maintained, then the execution of treaties will become impossible.

“All these treaties require confidentiality, and provided that if the prosecution is to be filed in some cases,then in those cases all the details will be disclosed to the court and they will be in public domain,” said Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

“We have to execute some fresh treaties including with the United States which is an important treaty and if confidentiality is not to be maintained at all then execution of treaties will become impossible and the object of this case that is to get black money by getting information from different countries would be completely defeated,” he added.

Rohatgi further said the sources of information will dry up if we don’t have treaties.

“And, therefore, we have made an application as to the court to give its observations.  If you need treaties that have to be on the basis of international bilateral cooperation,” he added.

Ridiculing the allegations made by senior counsel Ram Jethmalani over the Finance Ministry’s approach towards the black money issue, Rohatgi said the former’s allegations are totally unwarranted including personal allegations against the Finance Minister or the government.

“I don’t think the allegations are worth replying and it is highly unbecoming of a lawyer, that too a seasoned lawyer to make these kinds of allegations. It is a legal issue the court will decide and whichever way the court will decide we will proceed in accordance with the law,” he added.

Jethmalani, who has accused the Centre of trying to protect people with black money, alleged that the Finance Ministry is using double taxation avoidance treaty which has no application to crooks of the kind who have looted this country.

“I am talking about Finance Ministry’s approach and his answers to questions in parliament. What he is trying to do is to use the double taxation avoidance treaty which has no application to crooks of the kind who have looted this country. It is something to do with honest businessmen who are liable to tax with same income in two countries,” said Jethmalani.

“The application is ill advised, it will only help those who have looted the country. Our county will suffer because of this and looters will be benefited,” Jethmalani added.

Switzerland had earlier this month said that it will examine Indian requests for banking information on a priority basis and provide requested details in a time-bound manner.

India had also constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe cases of alleged black money of Indians, including funds stashed abroad in places like Switzerland. A Special Investigation Team, chaired by former Supreme Court judge Justice M B Shah, is looking into the menace of black money.

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