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Black Money Law: Supreme Court Stays Delhi HC Order

By LawStreet News Network      21 May, 2019 12:00 AM      0 Comments

The Supreme Court today (May 21, 2019) has stayed the Delhi High Court order regarding the retrospective applicability of the Black Money Law.

A Vacation Bench comprising of JusticesArun Mishra and M.R. Shah has issued notice to lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who is facing charges in the black money case. The court has asked him to file a reply within six weeks.

The notice has been issued following a plea filed by the Centre over matter pertaining to the retrospective applicability of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.

On May 16, 2019, the Delhi High Court passed an order preventing the government and the Income Tax Department from initiating any punitive action against Khaitan under the Act.

Appearing before the High Court, Khaitan had assailed several sections of the Act and had also claimed that the government’s notification that declared the date of enforcement of the Black Money Act as July 1, 2015 was ultra vires the Act itself.

He submitted in the High Court that the amendment to Section 1(3) stating that the Act would come into force from July 1, 2015, instead of April 1, 2016, was done in exercise of power under Section 86 of the Act which was yet to become operational.

The High Court accepted the said contentions and observed that “Parliament in its wisdom enacted the said Act and expressly provided therein that save as otherwise provided in the said Act, it shall come into force on the 1st day of April, 2016. There is, therefore, no gainsaying the legal position that, the power to make Rules or remove difficulties under the provisions of Sections 85 and 86 of the said Act, could only be exercised by the Central Government, once the said Act came into force on the 1st April, 2016, the date expressly stipulated by Parliament in this behalf, and not prior thereto.”

Thus, the High Court stayed the proceedings against Khaitan leading the Centre to move the Supreme Court.

Khaitan, also an accused in the VVIP chopper deal scam, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 26, 2019, for allegedly depositing money in offshore accounts.

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