Industrialist Yash Birla Among 7 Named by Swiss Authorities: 10 Developments

7 Indians have been named so far by Swiss authorities for alleged tax evasion. (Representational Photo)

Berne: Industrialist Yash Birla is among seven Indians whose names have been disclosed by Switzerland where officials are revealing bank account holders who are being investigated in their countries for alleged tax evasion.

Here are 10 developments in the story:

  1. Mr Birla's business group today said he has "no individual bank account in his name or under his control". An official spokesperson of Yash Birla Group said in an emailed statement, "Mr Yash Birla has no individual bank account in his name or under his control. This has been explicitly confirmed earlier by the Swiss bank in writing and the same has already been communicated to the Indian tax authorities."

  2. Beside Mr Birla, Gurjit Singh Kochar, the son-in-law of realty baron Ponty Chadha who was killed in a shootout, and a Delhi-based businesswoman, Ritika Sharma, have also been named in a Swiss document, according to the Press Trust of India. The other Indians in the list are Sayed Mohamed Masood and his wife Chand Kauser Mohamed Masood, who are being investigated for a multi-crore ponzi scheme in Mumbai offering car rental services.

  3. Sneh Lata Sawhney and Sangita Sawhney, linked to an industrial house, were named last night. None of the individuals listed in the document have commented so far on the developments.

  4. Those named have been given 30 days to file an appeal in a local court if they don't want the details of their accounts to be shared with India, as agreed upon in existing tax treaties.

  5. Sources say only the names of those who couldn't be contacted or haven't provided a valid address are likely to be made public. They will be given a chance to come forward and list their objections to their details being shared.

  6. "It is no longer safe to keep your assets overseas illegally This should give a sufficient indication to those who hold assets outside India," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.

  7. A list of 628 names was submitted in 2010 by France to India. There are people who allegedly held bank accounts at HSBC's Geneva branch.  

  8. India has so far initiated action in 121 cases. No activity or money deposits have been found in 202 accounts. Late last year, Mr Jaitley said 250 Indians on the HSBC list had admitted to holding foreign accounts but cautioned that not all of them were illicit.  

  9. The list of foreign account holders doubled in February, when fresh investigation of whistleblower Herve Falciani's data revealed that HSBC in Geneva helped clients in more than 200 countries evade taxes on accounts containing $119 billion.

  10. The recovery of black money - a boldface promise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign - is being monitored by the Supreme Court, with the details being handled by a special investigation team that includes former bureaucrats and judges.