- IT department can continue tax reassessment of Rahul, Sonia Gandhi: Court
- But can't issue any final order while case being heard: Supreme Court
- Supreme Court said this in case related to National Herald newspaper
The Income Tax department can continue with the tax reassessment of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, but cannot issue any final order while the case is being heard, the Supreme Court said today in a case related to the National Herald newspaper.
The top court was hearing an appeal by the Gandhis after the Delhi High Court dismissed their plea to stop tax reassessment for the financial year 2010-11. The leaders have also been named in another case related to the issue, in which they have been accused of misusing party funds for personal profits.
In the current case, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Oscar Fernandes had petitioned against the reopening of their tax assessments related to Associated Journals Ltd, the publisher of National Herald newspaper founded by Jawaharlal Nehru, the great-grandfather of Mr Gandhi.
The IT department has accused senior Congress leaders, including Mr Fernandes and Motilal Vora, of devising a scheme involving "pre-ordinate artificial and fraudulent steps to take over AJL".
The company, which showed no income for 2010-11, was not involved in charitable activities and so, was not eligible for tax exemption, the department said. The department then started the process of reassessing their tax for the same financial year, at which, the Gandhis went to court.
The Congress has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "directing" the tax department to reopen tax returns of the Congress leadership after eight years.
The top court said it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the pleas filed by Rahul and Sonia Gandhi in the case. The next hearing will be held on January 8, the judges said, explaining that "for certain reasons it is not possible to take up the case now".
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