India's black money law to face a Swiss test

India's black money law to face a Swiss test

India’s Black Money law, the statute that arms the tax office to go after citizens with secret foreign bank accounts and assets, will be tested before the Swiss courts this year.

About half a dozen appeals are coming up for hearing to stop Swiss authorities from sharing information with India on the grounds that not only can the harsh law be applied `retroactively’, it can also be used to impose stricter `criminal’ sanctions than those that would have been possible at the time the offences were committed ---- features which are incompatible with the Swiss legal system and values, lawyers familiar with the subject told ET.

As evidence, the appellants are pointing out the reference to Black Money Act in the ‘information request’ from the Indian Income Tax (I-T) department to Switzerland along with notices and summons received by them from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which can prosecute persons involved in money laundering. Data received by the I-T department is routinely shared with ED.