The government is contemplating legal action against HSBC Bank for what is being described as the “active’’ role of their executives in persuading Indian account-holders to open accounts to park undeclared money in their branch in Geneva, Indian Express reported.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has sought the opinion of the Law Ministry for this and underlined that a similar course of action has been taken by other countries who, like India, have been given access to bank account details held by their nationals in HSBC Geneva.
This comes at a time when the Government, in Parliament last week, promised a White Paper on black money.
As first reported by The Indian Express (August 8, 2011), French authorities handed over lists of roughly 700 Indians who opened accounts in HSBC Geneva prior to 2007 and this is being seen as a major black money trail.
Six months after the lists were received by New Delhi, IT officials revealed that in a vast majority of cases, the Geneva accounts or the money parked there had not been declared in the account-holders’ income tax returns. Take the case of clients residing in New Delhi, for instance. Of the 700-odd account holders, 68 live in Delhi and only “two or three” of them were found to have declared their HSBC Geneva deposits.
IT investigators in New Delhi have since completed their probe and an estimated Rs 80 crore has been mopped up from these HSBC account-holders in the capital itself.
While one account holder was found to have deposits to the tune of Rs 40 crore in the account, 10 of them had deposits of around Rs 20 crore each.
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