New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking a direction to the Centre to ascertain the feasibility of confiscating 100 per cent black money and benami property and awarding life imprisonment to offenders in cases relating to disproportionate assets, money laundering, human and drug trafficking.
The high court noted that a similar plea was earlier filed by the same petitioner before the Supreme Court which had permitted him to make a representation to the Law Commission on the issue.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said after withdrawing the petition from the Supreme Court, it was not proper for the high court to hear it.
"In case the Supreme Court had said that you go to the high court, we would have heard you. But there is specific order of the Supreme Court that you go to the Law Commission," the bench said.
When petitioner and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay urged the court to tag this petition with one of his earlier pleas, the bench declined it saying, "no, very sorry".
Thereafter, the petitioner sought to withdraw the petition saying he would approach the Supreme Court.
"The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn," the bench said.
The plea has sought to constitute an expert committee or direct the Law Commission to examine the stringent anti-corruption laws of developed countries relating to bribery, black money, benami property, tax evasion, disproportionate assets, money laundering, profiteering, hoarding, adulteration, human and drug trafficking and black marketing and prepare a comprehensive report within three months.
The petitioner claimed that the total budget of the Centre, states, and local bodies is Rs 70 lakh crore but due to massive corruption in every public department, around 20 per cent of the budget, that is, Rs 14 lakh crore becomes black money.
The plea submitted that the Centre and states must implement stringent anti-corruption laws to give a strong message that it is determined to weed out corruption, black money generation, benami transactions, and money laundering.
It submitted that the corruption severely affects BPL families as it distorts and disrupts the public distribution system.
The petition had arrayed as parties the ministries of Home Affairs, Finance, and Law and Justice, Law Commission of India, and the Delhi government.