New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday received the first interim report of the special investigation team (SIT) on black money.

Justice H.L. Dattu, heading a three-judge bench with justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Madan B. Lokur, hearing the case said “some progress has been made" by the SIT.

The SIT was set up after Ram Jethmalani, senior lawyer and member of parliament, approached the apex court in 2009 through a writ petition to bring back to India black money kept by Indians in foreign banks. On 4 July 2011, Supeme Court constituted the SIT to conduct probes into names of those who had accounts with Liechtenstein banks released by German government at that time.

In May, the court asked Centre to finalize a new SIT. The team was reconstituted to be headed by retired supreme court judges M.B. Shah as chaiman and Arijit Pasayat as vice-chairman. The court allowed Jethmalani and his lawyer to interact with the SIT to the extent of suggesting “means and methods" to retrieve money from foreign banks.

Centre was asked to respond to three communications, which Jethmalani had with German authorities. News agency Press Trust of India reports that through these communications, Jethmalani had alleged that the name of a former Indian prime minister was part of the list of people who had parked their black money in banks there. The centre will respond on the next date of hearing, 11 November.

One of the members of the SIT said since its report was in the custody of the apex court, its contents could not be disclosed.

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