Quicksand For The Gandhis? SC Permits IT Department To Re-Assess Rahul, Sonia’s Income In National Herald Case

Quicksand For The Gandhis? SC Permits IT Department To Re-Assess Rahul, Sonia’s Income In National Herald CaseSonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi after a hearing of the National Herald case in New Delhi in 2015. (Pankaj Nangia/India Today Group/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court today (4 December) gave its nod to the Income Tax (IT) Department to proceed with its re-assessment of the tax returns filed by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and veteran Congress leader Oscar Fernandes in the 2011-12 financial year, reports Firstpost. The Supreme Court has however directed the IT Department not to implement its order in the matter until the court proceedings are finally disposed of.

The court battle stems from the National Herald controversy wherein Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy had revealed the Congress’ leaders involvement in financial misappropriation of crores of rupees.

Swamy had filed a private criminal complaint in a trial court, alleging that Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, among other Congress leaders, had misappropriated funds by paying Rs 50 lakh to the Congress through Young India Pvt Ltd, thereby acquiring the right to recover the Rs 90.25 crore debt the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), which runs the Congress mouthpiece National Herald, owed to the party.

The IT Department then reportedly found out that Rahul Gandhi had hidden the fact that he was a director of Young India since 2010 in his income tax returns for 2011-12. Thus his income for the financial year would have amounted to Rs 154 crore, not Rs 68 lakh as was previously assessed.

The IT Department proceeded to send the Gandhi family a notice that their tax assessment would be re-opened, and the latter approached the Delhi High Court to halt the re-assessment. The High Court passed an order rejecting Rahul and Sonia’s pleas, which they then challenged in the Supreme Court.