Confiscate Black Money, Benami Property, Disproportionate Assets And Award Life Imprisonment - PIL In Delhi HC
A PIL under Article 226 of the Constitution has been filed before the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Centre and Delhi Government to confiscate 100% black money, benami properties and disproportionate assets and award life imprisonment in relation to offences such as disproportionate assets, money laundering, tax evasion, bribery, black money, benami property, profiteering, hoarding, adulteration, black marketing, human-drug trafficking and dishonest misappropriation of property by cheating fraud forgery.
The PIL has been filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
The Petitioner has prayed before the Court to –
i) Direct the Centre and State to ascertain the feasibility of confiscating cent percent black money, benami property, disproportionate assets and awarding life imprisonment in offences relating to black money, benami property, money laundering, disproportionate assets, bribery, profiteering, hoarding, adulteration, black marketing, human-drug trafficking, tax evasion and dishonest misappropriation of property by cheating fraud forgery (like America Singapore China);
ii) Constitute an expert committee; or direct the Law Commission of India to examine the most stringent anti-corruption laws of the developed countries, particularly the laws relating to bribery, black money, benami property disproportionate assets, tax evasion, money laundering, profiteering, hoarding, adulteration, human and drug trafficking, black marketing, dishonest misappropriation of property by cheating fraud forgery, and prepare a comprehensive report within three months.
The Petitioner has stated in his petition that the total budget of Centre, State, and Local Bodies is 70 lacs Crore but due to massive corruption in every department, around 20% of the budget i.e., Rs. 14 lacs Crore becomes black money. The Government can save this huge money by recalling currency above Rs. 100, restricting cash transaction above Rs. 5,000, linking assets above Rs. 50,000 with AADHAR, confiscating 100% disproportionate assets, black money, benami property and awarding life imprisonment to looters.
Petitioner has also stated that black money is used in anti-national activities.
Furthermore, the Petitioner states that due to weak anti-corruption laws, even one district is not free from land mafias, drug-liquor mafias, mining mafias, hospital mafias, transfer-posting mafias, betting mafias, tender mafias, hawala mafias, school-coaching mafias, infiltration mafias, conversion mafias, superstition-black magic mafias and white-collar political mafias, who divides our society on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth.
The Petitioner has additionally stated that injury caused is very large because corruption is insidious plague, having wide range of corrosive effects on society.
While stating that India is ranked 85 in Corruption Perception Index 2021, the Petitioner pleads that Corruption has devastating effects on right to life, liberty, dignity of individual, unity and national integration and offends other fundamental rights under Articles 14-21.
Further, the Petitioner states that Corruption undermines democracy and rule of law, leads to violation of human rights, distorts markets, erodes quality of life and allows organized crime like separatism terrorism naxalism radicalism gambling smuggling kidnapping money laundering and extortion and other threats to human security to flourish. Thus, Centre and State must implement stringent anti-corruption laws in order to give out a message that is determined to weed out corruption, black money generation, benami transaction and money laundering.
Also, Centre must take steps to reaffirm the rule of law, improve transparency and to warn looters that betrayal of public trust will no longer be tolerated, the Petitioner pleads.
The Petition further states that due to outdated rubbish laws, none of the welfare schemes and government departments are corruption free.
The Petitioner has further stated that he had filed similar PIL before the Apex Court but withdrew it with liberty to approach Law Commission.
Additionally, the Petitioner urged that these problems can be curbed by recalling currency above 100 restricting cash transaction above 5000, linking assets above 50,000 with AADHAAR, confiscating 100% black money, benami property and disproportionate assets and awarding life imprisonment. These 5 steps will weed-out corruption & black money.
The Petitioner further states that another benefit of this would be that looters would be forced to declare their unaudited fixed-movable assets and deposit their cash in banks; thus, not only Centre but also States and Local Bodies will get sufficient revenue, which can be used to develop good quality infrastructure and best facilities throughout the country and for welfare of the citizens.
India's anti-corruption laws are very weak and ineffective and failed to control corruption, the Petitioner states.
The Petitioner pleads that the root cause of 50% problems is corruption and it can't be controlled without tax reform police reform judicial reform democratic reform administrative reform and legal reform.
The Petitioner states that the Petition is for the benefit of poor, disabled, economically weaker section and socially-economically down trodden citizens, thus, the Court may issue writ, order of direction to Centre and the State in this context.