New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stayed the Delhi High Court’s order restraining the Central government from taking action against lawyer Gautam Khaitan under provisions of Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
A vacation bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice MR Shah also issued a notice to advocate Gautam Khaitan in connection with a plea filed by the Centre.
Earlier on Monday, the SC bench comprising of Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna had agreed to hear the Centre’s plea on Tuesday.
The Centre had challenged the May 16 order of the Delhi High Court which stated that Black Money Act that came into force on April 1, 2016, could not be applied retrospectively.
It had refrained the central government and the Income Tax Department from taking any action at this stage against Khaitan under the provisions of the Act.
“We are of the opinion that the petitioner (Gautam Khaitan) has made out a good prima facie case for grant of interim relief,” the Delhi High Court had said.
It added, “In the prima facie, we find ourselves unable to agree with the submission made on behalf of the official respondents (Centre and Income tax department).”
Khaitan had claimed that the Centre’s notification declaring the date of enforcement of the Act as of July 1, 2015, was ultra vires the Act and hence null and void.
Khaitan, who is one of the accused in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam is currently out on bail. Khaitan was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate pursuant to an investigation under the Act, on January 26. As per the prosecution, Khaitan had deposited nearly Rs. 6,000 crore in offshore accounts.
A charge sheet has also been filed against Khaitan, for violation of provisions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.