Congress against Panama Papers probe by government agencies

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) The Congress party on Saturday said that any probe conducted by government agencies into the ‘Panama Papers’ expose will have no ‘credibility’ and reiterated its demand for an apex-court monitored SIT.

The party was reacting to reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed to not refer the issue to a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Modi has ordered a multi-agency probe into the global expose by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), dubbed the “Panama Papers”, which found over 500 Indians also had alleged offshore links.

The Congress has demanded a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team probe against all those whose names have cropped up in the ‘Panama Papers’ case till date.

“The Indian list of tax evaders who have invested their ill-gotten wealth in Panama are known to be friends and well-wishers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Hence, any probe conducted by the government agencies will have no credibility. Hence, we demanded a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the Panama Papers leaks,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

According to media reports, Modi is said to have sought the first report on the ‘Panama Papers’ within 15 days of it having come out. He also wanted the matter to be probed ‘quickly’ and that it must not be referred to a SIT.

Jaitley has said a multi-agency group was set up with officers from the Central Board of Direct Taxes’ Financial Intelligence Unit, its Tax Research Unit as also officials from the Reserve Bank of India. The group had its first meeting on April 7.

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