- Sonia, Rahul Gandhi had challenged tax reassement for year 2011-12
- Delhi High Court says Income Tax department does have power to do so
- Says Gandhis can approach tax department with their objections
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul Gandhi's requests challenging the reopening of their tax assessment for the year 2011-12 was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on Monday.
"The writ petitions have failed... the I-T department has powers to reopen tax proceedings. Petitioners can approach I-T department with grievances," the judges were quoted as saying.
The Income Tax Department in March this year had served a notice to the Gandhis saying that their tax filings will be reviewed. The Congress leaders had challenged the notice in the court.
The judges also dismissed the petition of Congress leader Oscar Fernandes who too had challenged the reopening of his tax assessment for the same year.
Earlier this year in May, the Delhi High Court had refused to stop an income tax investigation into Young Indian, a company which has Sonia and Rahul Gandhi as its main stakeholders, asking it to first approach tax authorities.
At the heart of the case was Associated Journals Limited, publisher of three newspapers, including the National Herald, an English daily founded and edited by Jawaharlal Nehru before he became India's first prime minister.
In 2008, the company shut down with an alleged unpaid debt of about 90 crore rupees.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has accused Rahul Gandhi, PM Nehru's great-grandson, and Sonia, of setting up Young Indian Company to buy the debt using Congress party funds even though Associated Journals allegedly had real estate assets worth at least 2,000 crores, which would have cleared the debt.
Mr Swamy alleged that the Young Indian Company then owned all of the equity in Associated Journals and rented out its properties to profit its shareholders, including Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, who together controlled 76 per cent.
The Gandhis in January 2016 won an appeal to be exempted from personal appearances in court to answer allegations that they used their leadership of the Congress to misuse party funds for personal profit.