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Setback to Congress as I-T dept sends two more tax notices

The Delhi High Court rejected petitions by Congress challenging the tax reassessment proceedings for a period of four years from 2017- 2021.

Screenshot 2024 03 31 105606NEW DELHI: Trouble mounted for the Congress on Saturday as the party claimed that it received two more notices from the Income Tax (I-T) Department on ‘Friday night’. The fresh notices came a day after the party was served a tax notice to the tune of Rs 1,823.08 crore for arrears in five assessment years (1994-95 and 2017- 2018 to 2020-21) by the I-T department.

Addressing the media at the party headquarters, AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that the fresh notices did not come as a surprise to the party. “We got two more notices on Friday night. Today I don’t know how many more we will get. We got tax notices from the time of Sitaram Kesari, (1993-94). It is not surprising anymore. I get surprised if we don’t receive notices,” said Ramesh.

However, it is not clear if the party was slapped with demand for the three assessment years (2014-15 to 2016-17) on Friday night. While Congress workers held nationwide protests against the I-T action, the party was hopeful that the Supreme Court would take up its petition on Monday.

On Friday, several leaders including Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former president Rahul Gandhi termed the action “tax terrorism of the Modi government”.

The Delhi High Court rejected petitions by Congress challenging the tax reassessment proceedings for a period of four years from 2017- 2021.

It dismissed the plea in terms of its earlier decision refusing to interfere with the opening of re-assessment for another year. In the earlier petition, which was dismissed last week, the Congress had challenged the initiation of reassessment proceedings for assessment years 2014-15 to 2016-17. However, the tax department traced “unaccounted transactions” of Rs 523.87 crore during raids conducted before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Responding to I-T allegations, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha who represented the party in the High Court, told this paper that the tax department is misleading people as there are only entries in the Excel sheets and no such cash transactions.

He cited the Supreme Court rejecting a plea for probing the alleged payoffs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the Birla-Sahara groups saying that it’s only Excel sheet entries.

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