In a massive leak of 11.5 million tax documents, 500 Indians names have surfaced, out of which Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan are the highlights. The leaked PANAMA PAPERS suggest that the 500 Indians along with many others from abroad have been involved in suspicious off-shore accounts and shares that is set up by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.
THE TAX RULE
Under Reserve Bank of India norms, Indians weren’t allowed to have overseas entities until 2003. In 2004, the norm changed and allowed to invest in shares. In 2013, it further amended to subsidiaries and joint ventures, all the while never allowing to set up companies.
The Indian list includes Indianbulls owner Sameer Gehlaut, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Onkar Kanwar of the Apollo group, DLF owner K P Singh, West Bengal politician Shishir Bajoria, lawyer Harish Salve, late Mumbai gangster Iqbal Mirchi, Anurag Kejriwal of Loksatta Party and amongst others.
Detailed investigation by The Indian Express and The Guardian reveals that the people on the list have violated tax rules and bought shares of off-shore accounts under indirect ownership or nominees. According to the leak, Amitabh Bachchan was the director of four off-shore companies, set up in 1993. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was the director and later shareholder of a firm in British Virgin Islands.
The leak of the decade also revealed other names like Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi, and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif.
DATA & PENALTY
The 11.5 million documents (2.6 terabytes) contain information starting from 1977. For those with unaccountable and non-declared accounts and shares, strict punishment and jail term has been announced. The Panama firm, Mossack Fonseca, is giving a tough fight and not cooperating with the details citing the excuse of client confidentiality.
This enormous leak of the decade has stunned the world. From country leaders to celebrities to politicians, they are all in this. It is as sad as it is disappointing, especially when they were the people we look up to. We will be back with further details and solid evidence to keep you updated on the matter.