The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the income tax (I-T) department to continue with its assessment of Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi's tax liabilities for 2011-12. The top court, however, barred the tax department from taking any action on the assessments until it had heard the Gandhis' plea against the same.
Tuesday's order by the apex court is only an interim order and not the opinion of the court on Gandhis' plea, a three-judge Bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said. The court will next hear their petition on January 8.
Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi, along with Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, have approached the apex court against a September 10 Delhi High Court order allowing the I-T department to reopen the said assessment.
A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court had on September 10 dismissed a petition moved by the three Congress leaders against the I-T department's plan to reopen the tax assessment for 2011-12.
On March 31 this year, the I-T department had served a tax demand notice of nearly Rs 3 billion to Rahul Gandhi, claiming that he had not declared his position as the director of Young Indian, which would have led him to have an income of Rs 1.54 billion instead of the Rs 6.8 million that he had claimed for 2011-12. Sonia Gandhi and Oscar Fernandes, similarly, had not declared their positions as shareholders of Young Indian and thus, were liable to be reassessed, the I-T department had said in its notice.
The I-T department had also started the probe after receiving a complaint that the three leaders had misappropriated Associated Journals' shares while transferring them to Young Indian.