India’s stand on Panama Papers accused exposes ‘Kala Dhan’ politics

NEW DELHI: Panama Papers leak sparked probe led to Prime Minister of Pakistan’s resignation.

The apex court on Friday disqualified 67-year-old Nawaz Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing him to resign from premiership.

The publication of 11.5 million secret documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca documenting the offshore dealings of many of the world’s rich and powerful.

From Bollywood Bachchans to businessmen and also Indian polticians, there are over 500 Indians figures featured in the Panama list.

Superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, industrialist Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani, the promoters of Apollo Tyres and Indiabulls, top lawyer Harish Salve, DLF owner K P Singh and nine members of his family, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh’s family and several other millionaires are listed on the firm’s list.  

Several activists and journalists express their exasperation on social media.

Independent journalist Rana Ayyub posted a picture of PM Modi along with Nawaz Sharif with this caption: “His friend from Pakistan has been disqualified as PM in #PanamaVerdict but he will ensure no harm to Indians named in Panama. What a man”.

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan took to twitter and wrote: “Kudos to Pak SC for disqualifying Sharif&forcing him to step down.Our SC refused even inquiry of Birla/Sahara”.

Pakistan is known for its poor democracy but its apex court has set an example after disqualifying its Prime Minister.

India is considered among the nations with strong democracy, will Narendra Modi-led central government take similar action against those involved?

The following is an excerpt from an Indian Express article in March 2017 by Ritu Sarin, one of the journalists who were part of the team investigating the Panama Papers.

“Nearly a year after The Indian Express published the Panama Papers, tax authorities have succeeded in obtaining 165 replies — partial or complete — from among 13 jurisdictions where Indian nationals had incorporated offshore companies through the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. According to data made available at the latest meeting of the Multi Agency Group (MAG) last month, the number of Indian clients of Mossack Fonseca, whose PAN numbers had been traced, has swelled to 424. Of these, 205 have accepted links to offshore entities named in the global expose. However, 60 other Indians named in the Panama Papers remain untraced.”