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Black money adds up to Rs 6400 crore, SIT tells Supreme Court

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Special Investigating Team (SIT), set up to monitor the probe into black money case, stated in a report on Tuesday that the overall undisclosed taxable income from the unreported HSBC accounts abroad amounts to Rs 6,400 crore. The report was submitted in Supreme Court before a bench headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu.

While a tax demand of Rs 4500 crore has been raised, Rs 237 crore has been recovered so far, as per the report of The Indian Express. Reportedly, out of 628 HSBC accounts that are under the scanner, there is sufficient reason to take legal action against 403 accounts, said SIT. Recently, the government has been successful in extracting evidences from France regarding 575 HSBC account holders.

As per the newspaper, in the executive summary of the report, SIT stated, “Further information has been received in 575 cases in the first week of February 2015. Some of the cases which were hitherto not actionable may become actionable after such investigation.”

The summary was also given to Ram Jethmalani, the petitioner advocate, and he suggested that every poll candidate should file an affidavit stating that he or she does not hold any illegal money abroad, and if anything is found otherwise, then that person should be expelled from electoral politics.

Targeting finance minister Arun Jaitley, Jethmalani said, “President Pranab Mukherjee, in his stint as finance minister, had informed Parliament that India has identified over 40 tax havens abroad which are the places where Indians stashed black money.”

“But the present finance minister innocently tells Parliament that India has not identified any tax haven abroad. His understanding is worse than a schoolboy. Every schoolboy in India knows about the existence of tax havens where Indians park their illegal money. This is a circumstantial evidence to show that those in power today are involved in protecting the persons who stash black money abroad,” added Jethmalani.

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US: Supreme Court Blocks Administration’s Effort to Add Citizenship Question on Census

The citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act

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US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
FILE - Demonstrators protest during a Fair Maps rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, U.S., March 26, 2019. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the upcoming U.S. census by saying he’d asked his lawyers whether there was a way to delay the nationwide head count.

In a tweet hours after the court announced its decision, Trump said it “seems totally ridiculous” that the government could not question people about their citizenship on the census, which takes place once every 10 years.

The Supreme Court ruled the administration’s explanation — that the citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act — was “more of a distraction” from the issue than an explanation.

Opponents of the citizenship question say it would intimidate noncitizens into not answering the census, ultimately leaving them underrepresented in Congress.

US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort. Pixabay

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal justices in the 5-4 ruling.

 The nation’s highest court also announced Thursday that it was rejecting a request to intervene in states’ redistricting efforts.  Redrawing the boundaries of voting districts is meant to ensure proportional representation in state legislatures as the population grows and changes locations.

Republicans in the state of North Carolina and Democrats in the state of Maryland have been accused of redrawing the lines of voting districts to keep power in the hands of the ruling party.

The chief justices said manipulation of the electoral map, a practice known colloquially as gerrymandering, is a problem for state governments to solve, not the Supreme Court.

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Thursday was the final day of rulings by the Supreme Court before its summer break. (VOA)