Wednesday 26 January 2022
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National Herald case: Gandhis trying to save themselves, says Smriti Irani

Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi on Monday failed to get any relief from the Delhi High Court which dismissed their challenge on reopening of their tax assessments for 2011-12

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday trained its guns on Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi over the tax fraud case pertaining to the National Herald matter. In a press conference, Union Minister Smriti Irani launched a scathing attack on the Congress leaders, alleging that Rahul Gandhi had ‘hid assets from Income tax department.”

Meanwhile, the Congress on Monday dared Modi to fight a “political battle” with Rahul instead of seeking “petty revenge” after the BJP attacked the opposition party over the National Herald case.

The political slugfest started after Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed the pleas of Sonia and Rahul challenging reopening of their tax assessments for 2011-12.
Congress communications’ in-charge Randeep Surjewala claimed that the Modi government was “unnerved, perturbed and scared” by the “successful Bharat Bandh through which the people of India sought accountability”. “They (the BJP) are now resorting to foolish press conferences by making stupid remarks that have no foundations. Perhaps in the history of this country, such stupidity and foolishness may have never been committed by a ruling dispensation,” Surjewala had said.

 

Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi on Monday failed to get any relief from the Delhi High Court which dismissed their challenge on reopening of their tax assessments for 2011-12.

The rejection of the pleas of the top Congress leaders, including Oscar Fernandes, will pave the way for the Income Tax Department to scrutinise their records for the assessment year 2011-12.

The income tax probe against the Congress leaders has arisen from the investigation into the private criminal complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy before a trial court in connection with the National Herald case.

In the complaint before the trial court, Sonia, Rahul and others have been accused of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh, through which Young Indian (YI), the not-for- organisation, had obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) owed to the Congress party.

It was alleged that YI, which was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of Rs 50 lakh, had acquired almost all shareholdings of the AJL, which was running the National Herald newspaper. In this process, YI had also acquired AJL’s of Rs 90 crore.

The tax department had said the shares Rahul has in YI would lead him to have an income of Rs 154 crore and not about Rs 68 lakh, as was assessed earlier.

It has already issued a demand notice for Rs 249.15 crore to YI for the assessment year 2011-12.

It said that in Rahul’s case, the non-disclosure of share acquisition constituted tangible material justifying reassessment.

In case of Sonia and Oscar, the bench said returns filed by them were processed under Section 143(1) of the Income Tax Act, which pertains to ‘Notice or intimation’, and are not treated as “assessments”.

The BJP Monday claimed that the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by the Congress was to divert the people’s attention from the hearing in the Delhi High Court on a matter related to the National Herald case involving its “corrupt” leaders.

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