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The Supreme Court on Friday asked all the contending parties in the black money case to refrain from politicizing the issue which was of larger national interest. An apex court bench of Justice B Sudarshan Reddy and Justice SS Nijjar said this after senior counsel Ram Jethmalani told the court that the conversation between Maharashtra police officer Asok Deshbhratar and tax evader and money launderer Hasan Ali Khan points to 10 Janpath (Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence).

“The issue before us is very serious one. Let us not unnecessarily politicize it. We will do it in the interest of the country and we should not politicize it,” said Justice Sudarshan Reddy.

The apex court counsel for self restraint came in the wake of the hearing of a petition by eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani seeking directions to the government to take steps to bring back black money stashed away in tax havens.

Even as the court asked the contending parties to exercise restraint, it asked the government to state its position on disclosing the names of the people, other than Hasan Ali Khan, involved in stashing away black money in foreign banks based in tax havens.

It may be recalled that there are some names that had been disclosed to the apex court in a sealed cover, but are being held back from public domain on the grounds that the tax evasion proceedings against them have yet to be initiated.

The court also asked the government to state its position on its repeated suggestion on constituting a multi-disciplinary special investigating team to investigate money laundering cases.

The court also asked the centre to file a reply on the affidavit by Maharashtra police officer Ashok Deshbhratar seeking direction to the state government not to obstruct him “in any manner” from travelling to Delhi to meet his advocates and attending the apex court hearing on black money.

Appearing for Ashok Deshbhratar, Ram Jethmalani told the court that the state government has issued order to Deshbhratar not to travel to Delhi to meet his lawyers in order to assist the court on the information available with him on money laundering activities of different people.

Jethmalani gave to the court a CD of the recording of the investigation carried out by Ashok Deshbhratar of Hasan Ali. The court was also given the transcript of the CD recording. The Maharashtra government was also Friday impleaded as one of the parties to the case.

Meanwhile, the centre too Friday gave to the court the video and audio recording of its investigation of Hasan Ali and others being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate in money laundering case. The matter will come up for hearing next week. The court was also given latest status report on the ED’s investigation.

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