A Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money, set up by the BJP-led government in its previous stint, has reviewed and discussed the use of cash, liquor and precious metals during the last Lok Sabha polls. According to sources, the SIT directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to launch a money laundering probe against the people who stashed cash and precious metals worth Rs 4,000 crore during the elections.
In its first meeting with central agencies on Friday in Cuttack, the SIT discussed the seizures of cash and other items by the enforcement agencies under the supervision of the election commission. The SIT asked the ED to launch investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and identify the people behind the proceeds of crime and whether the amount of cash usage was higher than that of seizure.
The Election Commission is learnt to have seized over Rs 3,800 crore of cash, liquor, precious metals (mostly gold) and the amount was nearly 90 per cent of what was spent in conducting the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. These seizure are on account of politicians possessing, distributing and transporting illegal cash to people to lure them to vote in their favour. During the meeting, the SIT also reviewed the implementation of suggestions proposed by the team. The SIT reviewed the cases being jointly probed by agencies such as banking scams which were under scanner of both the CBI and ED.
The panel was also briefed about the progress in I-T cases against overseas black money holders like in the Panama, British Virgin Island lists and a few others.
Formation of the SIT was notified by the central government in May 2014 on the directions of the Supreme Court and it has submitted at least five reports to the apex court in this context till now. Headed by former justice MB Shah, the SIT has eleven agencies working under it.