Solicitor general tells Court the government does not want to set up special investigating team at this juncture, as it could interfere with the investigation work undertaken by the agencies so far
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed the Union government and the Maharashtra government to provide adequate protection to Hassan Ali Khan and his family members, against whom investigations are continuing for allegedly stashing away black money abroad and evading taxes. The Court also asked the investigators to record on video the statements of the accused and witnesses, as part of the probe into the case.
A bench of judges B Sudershan Reddy and SS Nijjar directed the government to place before it by 8th April, in a sealed cover, the compact disc (CD) and transcripts of the 53-year-old Mr Khan's statements that were recorded by the now suspended Maharashtra police officer Ashok Deshbhratar.
During the hearing, solicitor general Gopal Subramanian told the Court that the government was not in favour of constituting a special investigation team (SIT), at this juncture, to probe the case. Contending that the agencies currently investigating the case should continue with their work, he said that the Court could form an SIT to probe the case later, if the agencies did not show results, reports PTI.
"Wait for some more time as the agencies are involved in examining the matter. Any deflection at this point of time will prove far more expensive," the solicitor general said. He also said that the government had no objection in principle to video-recording the statements of the accused and witnesses during the investigation process.
Besides the Enforcement Directorate probe in the black money case, Mr Khan also faces a nearly Rs70,000 crore tax demand notice from the Income-Tax Department.
Dr Pradip Dutta, corporate vice president and managing director, Synopsys (I) Pvt Ltd, is the new chairman of India Semiconductor Association
Dr Pradip Dutta, corporate vice president and managing director, Synopsys (I) Pvt Ltd, is the new chairman and Dr Satya Narayan Gupta, chief executive officer & president, Concept2Silicon Systems Pvt Ltd has been elected as the vice chairman of India Semiconductor Association (ISA) for 2011-12. Poornima Shenoy will continue to serve as the president of ISA.
Widely acknowledged for his contributions in the field of electronic design and automation (EDA), Dr Dutta takes charge at a time when ISA is set to play a crucial role, in driving the growth of the electronics system design and manufacturing industry in India.
Dr Dutta said, "There is a lot of positive energy that can be seen in the industry today. The electronics sector in India has the potential to drive inclusive growth in the country. Acknowledging this potential, the government too is rolling out initiatives and policies to propel growth in the semiconductor and electronics industry. We at ISA are committed to working with the government and the industry to drive this agenda forward."
The members of the executive council of ISA for 2011-12 are: Dr Pradip Dutta, Dr Satya Narayan Gupta, Sanjeev Keskar, Poornima Shenoy, Dr Praveen Vishakantaiah, and Sanjay Nayak among others.
It takes two to tango and the level of corruption in the public sector would not be possible if there were not plenty of private businessmen willing to pay bribes and work the political system, said PERC
Singapore: India finds itself bracketed with countries like Philippines and Cambodia, rated as the fourth most corrupt nation among 16 countries of the Asia Pacific region surveyed by leading Hong Kong-based business consultancy firm Political & Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC), reports PTI.
PERC rated India at 8.67 on a scale of zero to 10 with the high end being the worst case of corruption scenario and ahead of the Philippines (8.9 points), Indonesia (9.25 points) and Cambodia (9.27 points).
Among the 16 countries reviewed in its latest report, Thailand was rated at 11 with a scale of 7.55, followed by China (7.93) and Vietnam (8.3).
Comparatively, Singapore was given a clean sheet with a score of 0.37, followed by Hong Kong (1.10), Australia (1.39), Japan (1.90) and USA (2.39), putting them in the top five.
In India, according to the report, civil and other local-level political leaders were found more corrupt than the national-level political leaders, with the former given a score of 9.25 and the latter slightly better at 8.97.
Indian civil servants at the city level, too, were rated at 8.18, worst than the civil servants at the national level (7.76).
"The issue of corruption has grown and overshadowed the second term in office of the Congress-led coalition headed by prime minister Manmohan Singh," said PERC in its Asian Intelligence report on Asian business and politics.
The government has been wracked by a series of scandals involving the sale of telecom licenses, preparations for the Commonwealth Games, a land scam involving high level military officers, and improper property loans made by state-owned financial institutions, it pointed out.
Though investigations were underway to be followed by court trials, Indians were still questioning whether or not the prime minister has the political muscle to fight graft and whether the actions now being taken were more for show than proof that the government was really cracking down on business practices that were common but corrupt, it said.
Mr Singh has been put in such a defensive position that most of his recent statements have been to stress how he has not personally been involved with corruption, even though it appears that almost everyone around him was, observed PERC.
"This point is underscored by a recent WikiLeaks report that the ruling Congress Party paid off parliamentarians back in 2008 to pass the US-India civil nuclear deal," it said.
The report also noted that the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) was worried that the problem of corruption and the way it was being treated in the media could seriously hurt India's international image and scare away potential investors.
It takes two to tango and the level of corruption in the public sector would not be possible if there were not plenty of private businessmen willing to pay bribes and work the political system, said PERC.