Despite CIC orders, PMO refuses to share details on black money brought back to India

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 25 November 2018, 03:45 PM
On October 16, the CIC had passed an order asking the PMO to provide details of the black money within 15 days. (Photo: Wikipedia)
On October 16, the CIC had passed an order asking the PMO to provide details of the black money within 15 days. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Despite clear orders from the Central Information Commission (CIC), the Prime Minister’s Office has refused to share the information on the quantum of black money brought back from the abroad. The Narendra Modi-led government, which has made the promise of bringing back the black money stashed in foreign banks in just 100 days, cited a provision of the Right To Information (RTI) Act as the reason for not sharing the details. On October 16, the CIC had passed an order asking the PMO to provide details of the black money within 15 days.

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“As such, disclosure of all the action/efforts undertaken by the government at this juncture may impede the whole process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders and hence would attract the provision of exemption under Section 8 (1) (h) of the RTI Act,” the PMO said in response to the RTI application filed by whistleblower bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi.

Chaturvedi, an RTI activist and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer, had sought information on the quantum of black money brought back to India from abroad since June 1, 2014. Replying to his RTI query in October 2017, the PMO had said that the info sought was not covered under Section 2 (f) of the transparency law that defines information.

After this, Chaturvedi moved to the CIC which had given the PMO a 15 days deadline to provide the information. The Prime Minister’s Office also refused to share details of corruption complaints received against Union ministers sought by Chaturvedi. The PMO said that sharing such information “may be a subjective as well as a cumbersome exercise”.

According to a study by US-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI), an estimated USD 770 billion in black money entered India during 2005-2014. Nearly USD 165 billion in illicit money exited the country during the same period, the report by the global financial watchdog said.

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According to a study by US-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI), an estimated USD 770 billion in black money entered India during 2005-2014. Nearly USD 165 billion in illicit money exited the country during the same period, the report by the global financial watchdog said.

First Published: Sunday, November 25, 2018 03:45 PM

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