Panama Papers leak: Narendra Modi wants first report on the case by April 19
According to The Indian Express, the prime minister wants a group of domain experts to look into the case, instead of a Special Investigative Team.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought an “interim report” on the Panama Papers leak by April 19. Modi, who returned from his five-day trip to Belgium, the United States and Saudi Arabia the morning the documents were revealed, reportedly does not want a Special Investigative Team to look into the matter. Instead, he wants the case to be referred to a small group of domain experts, as he believes an SIT will examine it at its own pace while he wants a speedy investigation, The Indian Express reported.
The report added that the night of the leak, Modi asked a top official in his office to brief him and wanted the first report within 15 days of the exposé, according to a senior government functionary. The official added that according to Modi, an SIT may not fully comprehend the modus operandi used by those named in the papers to set up or acquire offshore firms in tax havens. “He wanted to understand the whole issue better. Hence, he sought an interim report within 15 days of setting up the multi-disciplinary committee,” he said.
On April 4, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that Modi had asked for a multi-agency committee to be set up to investigate the cases of the 500 Indians whose hidden offshore wealth was revealed in a major leak of millions of documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The group, which held its first meeting on April 7, includes members from the Financial Intelligence Unit, Central Board of Direct Taxes ad Reserve Bank of India. It will monitor the flow of information in each one of the cases related to India, the Ministry of Finance had said in a statement.