The Income Tax Department will reportedly initiate legal action against diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted in connection with the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015. Under the law, the government can approach another country or territory with which it has an agreement to seek recovery of tax under section 73 of the Act.
The Act ensures imprisonment of up to seven years for not disclosing foreign assets.
According to The Economic Times, the I-T department has sought details of Modi’s accounts and entities linked with him from tax authorities in Jersey, the Bahamas, Cyprus, Singapore and Mauritius.
In 2015, the Lok Sabha had passed the Act to deal with black money stashed abroad through high monetary penalty and criminal prosecution.
Piloting the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that there would be short compliance window for persons having undisclosed income abroad to come clean by paying 30 percent tax and 30 percent penalty.
Once the compliance window closes, anyone found having undeclared overseas wealth would be required to pay 30 percent tax, 90 percent penalty and face criminal prosecution, he said.
Modi is suspected to be in Hong Kong and the Ministry of External Affairs has already submitted a request to the authorities there for his provisional arrest.
On Monday, China hinted it won't push for Nirav Modi's arrest, saying the Chinese autonomous region has its own set of judicial rules and India can deal with the authorities directly.
Hong Kong has its own independent system where China has its say only in defence and external affairs. While India has an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, there is no such agreement with China.
Modi, a regular on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, along with his group companies - Diamond R US, Stellar Diamond and Solar Exports, and Mehul Choksi, his uncle and business partner among others have been named in the huge scam, admitted by the PNB in February and leading to a massive upheaval in the country's banking system.
Modi owns a chain of boutiques in Hong Kong.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2018 12:48:10 IST