SC allows I-T dept to reopen tax filings of Rahul and Sonia Gandhi
21 December 2018
The tax matter is related to the National Herald case in which the Congress leaders are also facing criminal proceedings.
The Supreme Court has allowed the income-tax department to reassess the 2011-12 tax filings of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, but restrained the department from taking any action against the Congress president and his mother until 8 January 2019, which is the next date of hearing.
The two Congress leaders are awaiting a court verdict on the legality of I-T notices to them.
The issue arises from a not-for-profit entity called Young India, which is majority controlled by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, acquiring Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) that runs the National Herald newspaper. While the Congress calls Young India a not-for-profit company, the tax department sees income from the deal to the Gandhis.
A bench comprising justices AK Sikri, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer passed the short order on Tuesday before adjourning the case because of lack of time. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the Gandhis sought interim protection to the Gandhis till the court could hear their plea seeking to have the notices quashed.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta resisted the court suggestion to restrain the I-T department from taking any interim action in the case against the Gandhis. “The court should not give this impression that it was taking a prima facie view,” he said. “This (petition) deserves dismissal,” he said.
The Delhi High Court had on 10 September rejected Gandhis’ pleas to set aside the tax department’s notices to them.
According to the department, Rahul had concealed the fact that he was a director in Young India since 2010 and had slapped a Rs154-crore tax demand on him, instead of an original demand for Rs68 lakh. Young India was asked to pay Rs249.15 crore.