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Black money in India
India has enormous black money, which has destroyed its image all over the world. A PIL in the Supreme Court over black money was filed in 2009 seeking direction for the Centre to bring back black money running into thousands of crores stashed away in tax havens overseas.

BUT NOTHING has so far happened in this context. A three-judge bench agreed to hear the petition. This PIL named the Centre and five others - RBI, SEBI, Enforcement Directorate and CBDT (Finance Ministry) - as respondents. Quoting media reports, the PIL placed the black money at Rs 70 lakh crore or 1.4 billion dollars. The amounts given in rupees and in dollars vary as Rs 70 lakh crore works out to 1.4 trillion dollars, while 1.4 billion dollars is equivalent to lb 7,000 crore.

The confusion was compounded as counsel Diwan, while mentioning the matter, gave a third figure - Rs 70,000 crore. Citing actions taken by the US and other developed countries to bring back such money to their respective countries from Swiss and other secret bank accounts and the success achieved therein, the PIL said the Centre should take similar measures.

According to the petition, the Income Tax Department had served notices on one Hasan Ali Khan of Pune and his co-conspirators, demanding a tax of Rs 40,000 crore and Rs 20,580 crore, respectively. The petitioners said the black money was siphoned off between 2002 and 2006. Half of this period pertained to the NDA rule and the remaining partly to the present UPA government, as reported in a blog by Surya Prakash.

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