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Blackmoney: I-T dept files 121 cases against HSBC account holders

April 30, 2015 18:15 IST

The Income Tax department has slapped 121 cases for prosecution of those entities whose names have appeared in the HSBC Geneva bank list even as undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 4,800 crore (Rs 48 billion) has been brought under tax net in these cases at the end of the last fiscal.

Sources said the cases have been filed in courts in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Goa before the closure of the just concluded financial year 2014-15 on March 31.

A report in this regard has also been sent to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money which is now compiling all the figures and data to present an action taken report before the Supreme Court on or before May 12.

Sources said the complaints were filed under I-T laws for tax evasion after investigations into these cases found that these individuals or entities were 'wilful' defaulters and had allegedly hidden their incomes by illegally keeping in the Swiss bank, from the taxman.

"About 121 cases have been filed before the March 31 deadline as after this time period these cases would have got time-barred and thus could not be legally prosecuted by the department.

The total undisclosed income brought to book in this particular case is approximately Rs 4,800 crore till now," the sources added.

The I-T department has been probing 240 HSBC cases where it is suspected that Indians have stashed their illicit funds abroad.

Till December 31 last year, assessments were completed in 128 of these cases by the I-T department out of the total 628 Indian names or entities reported on the stolen HSBC list provided by France to India few years ago after they were reportedly "secreted" out by an employee posted at the Geneva branch of the global bank.

Out of the said 628 people, 200 were either non-residents or non-traceable, leaving 428 cases to be actionable for tax sleuths to probe.

For these 428 actionable cases, the government had said, the net amount of peak balance was about Rs 4,500 crore (Rs 45 billion).

"Some more cases in this list would be raised for tax demand and similar legal proceedings soon," they added. Details of more than 1,000 suspected account holders from India, were claimed to have been disclosed through a joint investigation by an international body --the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The entire HSBC list features names of 1,668 Indians while the number of actionable cases stands at 1,195 after taking into account duplication and other factors.

Collectively, these accounts had a balance of USD 4.1 1 billion (Rs 25,420 crore) till 2007. In the list published early this year, there are 2,699 accounts linked to 1,688 Indians.

Of these, 1,403 accounts were opened between 1969 and 2006 while the maximum amount of money associated with a client connected to India was $876.3 million

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