In the aftermath of the government’s demonetisation move, a PIL has been filed in the Allahabad High Court seeking crackdown on alleged laundering of black money through cash donations to religious institutions and charitable trusts, many of these run by political leaders.
The PIL filed by advocate Avinash Mani Tripathi, which is likely to come up for hearing before a bench later this week, alleges that there has been emergence of a "menace of converting black money into white through donation in cash" of "old high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in the accounts of religious and charitable trusts running across the country".
The petitioner has contended that this would result in "failure" of government's attempt to "eliminate black money" since donations made to religious institutions and trusts became a part of their income which was "exempt from tax".
The petitioner has also alleged "inaction on part of Government of India to make any declaration regarding monetary effect of specified bank notes received in donation box or directly at religious institutions or trusts".
It alleged that many of these were being "run by political leaders," including those belonging to the ruling parties at the Centre and in the state.
The petitioner has mentioned the names of institutions or trusts run by BJP MPs, an Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister, a former Union Minister from Congress and an AIMIM leader.
The petitioner, who has named the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India as parties, has prayed for "directions to respondent authorities to declare that value of the old high denomination notes deposited in the accounts of religious institutions and trusts after November 08, 2016 would neither be credited nor exchanged".
As an interim measure, pending hearing on the PIL, the petitioner has prayed for directions for "constitution of a high-level committee for taking appropriate action against the menace of converting black money into white through donation in cash of old denomination notes in the accounts of religious institutions and trusts across the country".
(With PTI inputs)