SC allows I-T reassessment of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Herald case
05 December 2018
The Supreme Court has allowed the Income Tax Department to carry on with the reassessment of the tax liabilities of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi for 2011-12 in connection with the National Herald case.
A three-judge Bench headed by Justice AK Sikri, however, restrained the department from “giving effect” to its order in the proceedings against Rahul and his mother during the pendency of the case in the apex court.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday also adjourned a petition against the income tax reassessment of the tax liabilities of Rahual Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi in connection with the National Herald case till 8 January.
The bench, which also included Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer, said it was passing an interim order without going into merits of the case as the limitation period for completing the assessment was expiring on 31 December.
Sonia and Rahul were granted bail in the case by the trial court on 19 December 2015.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the I-T Department, said the top court should not restrain it from implementing the assessment orders against the Gandhis and Oscar Fermandes. He requested the bench to hear the matter and pass appropriate orders.
On 10 September, a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and AK Chawla of the Delhi high court dismissed a challenge to review the tax assessments of the Gandhis in connection with the National Herald newspaper, saying material facts had been concealed.
The Congress leaders had moved the Delhi high court after the I-T department served them notice in March saying their tax filings were set to be reviewed.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, along with Young India Pvt Ltd, in which they were directors, were faced with an investigation by the tax department for transactions dating back to 2011-12 after the Delhi High Court allowed it in 2017.
The case was based on a private criminal complaint lodged by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and member of Parliament Subramanian Swamy, alleging cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald newspaper, by Young India.
The I-T department had already issued a demand notice for Rs249.15 crore to Young India for the assessment year 2011-12.