A Comprehensive Review of Shiva Kant Jha’s ‘ON THE LOOM OF TIME, The Portrait of My Life and Times’ by Shri Shailendra Kumar in his article dated December 25, 2014 http://www.taxindiaonline.com/RC2/inside2.php3?filename=bnews_detail.php3&newsid=22364

Some paras are quoted hereunder

“While praising the Apex Court and also the Modi Government for its support to the SIT, the author fears that over the passage of time, the Apex Court’s directions may be subjected to creative narrowing which would be unfortunate. He suggests that the reach of the Supreme Court’s diktat should be read in the first part of the decision in the case of Ram Jethmalani vs UoI. He wants the SIT to discover the deeds of Khans and Tapurias. His fear is that their wealth should not turn out to be camphor that could vanish in thin air. He also hopes the SIT must discover how the authorities made castle in the thin air, and explore what made the Revenue authorities build such castles. Whenever such things happen, the people’s trust in administration and the governance by the Executive reaches its vanishing point. It is wished that the SIT would trail its odyssey outside India; and again its intrusion into India in many ways – one of which is round tripping.”
“The author wants the SIT headed by great jurists to throw light on how funds are creatively managed from the Ugland House in the Cayman Islands, or from the Cathedral Square in the Mauritian capital Port Louis. The ways of the stock market must be understood and exposed. The author mourns how indiscriminate welcome of FDI has done a great deal of harm to our country. He observes that in the passionate pursuits for more and more FDI, corruption flourishes, black economy is patronised and black money thrives. Although all swear by transparency, yet they all work for ‘darkness’ – a necessary condition for corruption and black money to grow more and more. Referring to the most controversial CBDT Circular 789 he wants the SIT to work for its withdrawal as this Circular happens to be a major abettor of black money-promoting activities. He notes that this administrative Circular is evidently illegal and abuses the provisions of Income Tax Act to enable wrong doers to rob the country of its share of taxes. He wants the SIT to focus on review of bilateral investment promotion agreements (BIPA) which seek to override our laws and oust the jurisdiction of our superior courts and grant the benefits of treaty shopping to all foreign investors. The most effective solution to black money issue, as per the author, will be to withdraw Circular 789 and declare all BIPAs domestically inoperative. He also wants the SIT to review all the statutory provisions introduced in various Acts in the recent years as he feels these changes in economic laws were sponsored by external forces to make loot easier for crooks. Some of these laws are FEMA, PMLA and DTAAs.”

“In a flashback, gleaning from his experiences in handling Fodder Scam, the author has a few words of caution for the SIT which is bound to run into some operational problems, mostly created by those who do not want the truth to come out. While probing the fodder scam, he had noticed that quite frequently hierarchic issues and ego hassles were out to derail the investigation. Most of the times the response of CBI was unsatisfactory. He fears that the SIT on Black Money is likely to face such problems as several investigating agencies are involved in the black money cases.”
“Referring to the Apex Court’s decision in the case of Ram Jethmalani, he observes that the Supreme Court has failed to notice the features of the criminal conspiracy at work in the generation of black money, the siphoning-off of the black money and the stashing of the same in foreign tax jurisdictions. In the context of Fodder Scam, the Patna HC had observed: “It is clear that the excess drawals were not isolated act; they were manifestations and results of well-knit conspiracy to commit loot and plunder of public money in a systematic manner, which could not be possible without the support of higher-ups.” Thus, the author has alerted the SC-constituted SIT against ‘creative delay’.
Apart from black money issue, the Second Edition has exhaustive commentaries on topics like The Destiny of Our Nation: The Advent of Narendra Modi; Ambit of the Constitutional Restraints on the Treaty-Making Power and Global Economy – A Deal with the Devil; Anti-Corruption Movement – Challenge & Response. Some of the chapters like 26, 29 & 30 are titled “The Realm of Darkness – The Triumph of Corporatocracy”; “The Portrait of our Time”; and “A Miscellany of my ideas from my personal journal”.
In a nutshell, the Second Edition indeed makes a fascinating reading material even for those who are mesmerised by the glamour of systemic distortions and irreparable ills of the global economy. Some of the words of caution for the SIT on Black Money are indeed vital inputs for the noted jurists who are destined to find themselves pitted against a barrage of inimical forces working against the recovery of lost wealth of India. TIOL is in full agreement with the author when he suggests that its structure should be a honeycomb of hexagonal cellsmanned by persons of competence from different services and professions out to study everything that would have a bearing on the work of the SIT. Let’s hope our last hope (the SIT) finally triumphs and brings, if not the entire lost treasure, at least a part of it so that the trust of the common taxpayers is restored in our democratic system.”

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