New Delhi : In its first Cabinet meeting chaired by Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening, the government decided to set up a high-level SIT (special investigation team) headed by 75-year old retired Supreme Court judge M B Shah for unearthing black money stashed abroad, as already directed by the Supreme Court on May 6.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that the government’s commitment, priority and determination on the issue of black money can be gauged from the fact that it is item No. 1 on the Cabinet’s agenda.This will be the second SIT as the one earlier constituted by the Supreme Court in July 2011 under the chairmanship of its former judge B P Jeevan Reddy was not notified by the UPA government and the judge finally resigned, prompting the court to set up another SIT with retired Justice Shah as its chairman. The outgoing solicitor general in UPA regime had been given a week’s time by the court last week to set up the new SIT.
The Modi government, as such, had no choice but to accept the diktat of the Supreme Court, which had also decided who all will comprise the SIT. All that the incoming Cabinet did on Tuesday was to approve the notification on SIT as directed by the court.
The case for retrieving the money stashed abroad by Indians is being fought in the court by former law minister Ram Jethmalani. Prasad said the Cabinet would meet again on Wednesday to firm up the Parliament’s session.