“Will the prime minister show the courage of conviction to hand over this entire information to the bench of Supreme Court that is looking at action against black money holders,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala was quoted as saying. “Will the ‘Compromised Bureau of Investigation’ [Central Bureau of Investigation] and the Enforcement Directorate take action?”
Sujrewala said, “The Modi government has taken no action to unearth black money stashed abroad in 41 months,” according to The Indian Express. “They have also so far not made public names of those who have stashed black money abroad.”
The party also demanded that Union minister Jayant Sinha, who was on the list of Indians in the Paradise Papers leak, resign. Sinha’s name figures in the list because of his former role within the Omidyar Network. “The Paradise Papers raises serious conflict of interest questions against Sinha,” Surjewala said, adding that the government should order an investigation and register a First Information Report against him.
Surjewala said that the Congress was ready to face any probe, either by the Central Bureau of Investigation or the Enforcement Directorate, when it was pointed out that some Congress leaders or their kin were also named.
The Paradise Papers leak
At least 714 Indians are named in documents leaked from two financial companies – Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti – that help the rich and the powerful move their money abroad and invest it in 19 tax havens. The information was released by United States-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and 96 newspapers from across the world, including The Indian Express, on Monday began publishing stories based on the leaked financial data.
Among the individuals named in the leak are actor Amitabh Bachchan, Union minister Jayant Sinha, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajya Sabha MP RK Sinha, and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.
This cache of documents were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. Most of the papers scrutinised are from Appleby, an 119-year-old company that helps its clients set up offshore companies and manage their bank accounts to help them either avoid or evade taxes, manage their real estate properties, open escrow accounts, or move millions across the globe.