NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to hear the Centre’s plea seeking recall of its order for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising its retired judges to take over the probe into all black money cases. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir posted the recall application of the Centre for Wednesday for hearing.

However, noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani and other petitioners, on whose plea the apex court had constituted the SIT, criticised the government for seeking recall of the order of July 4.

Senior advocates Anil Diwan and R K Dhawan, appearing for the petitioners, contended the government’s plea is not maintainable as instead of complying with the order it has approached the court for recalling the order.

They said the government should file a review petition instead of application for recalling the order.

The Centre, in its application, contended the SIT was formed without being prayed and cited ten main grounds among others for recall of the order in which it has been pulled up for the “laggardly pace” in investigations into the issue of black money stashed abroad.

Maintaining that a bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy (since retired) and S S Nijjar has impinged upon the domain entrusted to the executive, the Centre said the order is “contrary to the settled legal principle that the function of the court is to see that the lawful authority is duly exercised by the executive but not to take over itself the task entrusted to the executive.”

“It impinges upon the well-settled principle that courts do not interfere with the economic policy which is the domain of the executive and that it is not the function of the court to sit in judgement over matters of economic policy, which must necessarily be left to expert bodies,” it has said.

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June 2021