The Supreme Court, on Tuesday stayed the order of the Delhi High Court wherein it was held that the black money law enacted in 2016 could not be allowed to operate with retrospective effect from July 2015 to book and probe offenders.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra also stayed the May 16 order of the high court which had restrained the Income Tax department from taking any action against VVIP chopper scam accused Gautam Khaitan, against whom a black money case has been lodged.
The bench also issued a notice to Khaitan asking to submit his response to the government’s petition within six weeks.
The Delhi High Court, on May 16, had stayed the Centre’s notification to make the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act operational with effect from July 1, 2015.
The income tax department, in January this year, initiated a criminal complaint aginst Khaitan, an accused in the 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. The law provides for a jail term of three to 10 years for those guilty of trying to evade tax.
The High Court had said that Parliament, in its wisdom, had enacted the Act, which was to come into force from April 1, 2016, and as the date was expressly decided by Parliament, it could not be made applicable with retrospective effect by way of a notification.