Centre tells SC it’s examining Panama Papers
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New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it was taking the issue of Panama Papers case seriously and had formed a multi-agency group to examine it.
The leak of Panama Papers, a set of documents leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, had revealed the names of at least 500 Indians who allegedly used the firm to set up offshore entities in tax havens around the world.
“The Centre has formed a group comprising of various agencies which has submitted five reports to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed under the courts’ orders to deal with the black money issue in a connected matter,” Tusshar Mehta, additional solicitor general, told the court on behalf of the Centre.
He also asked the bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra to not pass any further orders as the Centre was already examining it.
The court asked petitioner M.L. Sharma, who had requested the involvement of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in the case, to file an affidavit explaining how the regulator was concerned with the issue. Sharma has sought a Central Bureau of Investigation probe against Indian offshore account holders.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan, DLF Ltd promoter K.P. Singh and nine members of his family, the promoters of Apollo Tyres and Indiabulls, businessman Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani, politicians Shishir Bajoria from West Bengal and Anurag Kejriwal, the former chief of the Delhi unit of Loksatta Party, were some of the people named in the papers.
After the documents surfaced, the government set up a team to investigate suspected tax evasion by Indians named in the Panama Papers.