Arun Jaitley says Paradise Papers cases to be considered on individual merit
New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the Union government will consider each case brought out by ‘Paradise Papers’ on its “individual merit”.
He told reporters that the government probe into the leaked documents from a Bermuda-based global offshore law firm, detailing financial holdings abroad of over 714 Indian entities and individuals, will follow the process similar to the one undertaken in ‘Panama Papers’ investigation.
“It will be found out that who are those people with totally illegal accounts and who have plausible defence.... Every case will be considered on its individual merit,” he said.
To a question, the finance minister said he would not comment on individual cases as there was a legal process in place to find out if accounts were legal or not. A similar probe was undertaken by investigators into the Panama Papers, he said. While some have illegal accounts, some others have said that they have followed due procedure, he said.
Official sources had said yesterday that a multi-agency group (MAG) probing the Panama Papers leak will also look into the ‘Paradise Papers’.
Dubbed as Panama Papers, an investigation of a stockpile of records from Panamanian legal firm Mossack Fonseca by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist had last year named several world leaders and celebrities who had allegedly stashed away money abroad in offshore companies.
To a question about alleged interference in a probe by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi when the UPA was in power, Jaitley said interference with investigative agencies was a regular feature then and he as the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha had written to the then prime minister Manmohan Singh about several cases.