Home » Subject » Essay » Bringing back Black Money to India will increase the Indian Revenue, but should the names be revealed?

"When you want to indulge in adharma, hundreds of ways are open."

If meaning of the above quote explains in itself the primary reason of existence of 'black money'. In a lay man's terms, monetary transactions done abroad but not reported here are known as black money i.e. the funds earned on the black market on which taxes haven't been paid to the Government. In older days, smuggling of gold and illegal money was practiced. There is no exact estimate of the money kept illegally in various foreign banks. There are approximately more than 70 tax havens in the world where profits have been shifted and according to sources the Indian wealth could be more in Switzerland and various British and US islands. The money is of primordial importance for the welfare of the citizens and belongs mainly to the poor. The money kept in banks is not useful and doesn't benefit anybody while lying in accounts of various banks.

The stashing away of black money is a rough indicator of weakness of state in terms of crime prevention and tax collection which can be mend through fiscal surplus if the State has the political will to act and exercise laws. Financial flows in the context of the report "Illicit flows from developed countries 2002-2006", Dev Kar and Devon-Cartwright Smith, includes the proceeds from both illicit activities such as corruption, criminal activities and proceeds of illicit business( in order to evade taxes). On July 4, 2011, the Supreme Court appointed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Former Supreme Court Judge, BP Jeevan Reddy, to monitor the investigation of black money. The Supreme Court asked Government not to indulge and just give the names so that there could be no room for red-tapism. The bench said that disclosing account holder's names would violate their rights to privacy of those who have a legitimate account and names can be revealed only after a prima facie case of tax evasion is made out. Thus, names of 627 people were given to the SUPREME COURT on January 29, 2014 in a sealed envelope.

If democracy is true then there should be transparency in democracy along with amends in excise and money laundering laws for prevention of further generation of black money. Major steps need to be taken for the 'unholy access' of money to end with absolutely no misuse of power. There should be a unified database for taxes and sources of funding should be known. It is very often that we hear the cases of under-hand dealings during elections thus; a change in the Indian scenario is needed. The issue of black money should be made global (inclusion in G-20, IMF, etc.) since it is of huge importance. Pressure from media and public on the State might as well prove to fasten the process of bringing the money back.

It is no surprise that names of some big industrialists have come up during investigation. By revealing the names, the Government and the Supreme Court have rest assured the people's belief in them when it comes down to transparency. There is no doubt in the fact that the money kept in various accounts belongs to the citizens of India and thus, it is our right to know about the names of the people who had been deceiving us and the country. This issue is not only confined to being a political issue but is also wrong on ethical grounds. The poor is becoming poorer and the rich is becoming richer. It is high time that the Supreme Court takes strong actions into investigation and trials of the case. The guilty should be charged and all the names must be revealed to set an exemplar of unbiased verdicts on justice and equality.

Yuttika Singh