The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son Congress president Rahul Gandhi to submit an affidavit in a Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) circular that had "a direct bearing on the National Herald tax assessment case."
A bench of the apex court headed by Justice AK Sikri also asked Income Tax (I-T) Department to file its reply on the affidavit to be filed by Gandhis relating to the CBDT circular.
CBDT's December 31, 2018 circular had clarified that "fresh issuance of shares are not taxable," a stand the Congress has been maintaining before the court over the acquisition of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the owner of the National Herald newspaper, to Young Indian Limited.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the I-T Dept, informed the court that these CBDT circulars were not relevant in the present case.
He said the order for the opening of tax assessment for the year 2011-12 of Congress president Rahul, Sonia Gandhi, and Fernandes had been passed but has not been put to effect to as per the apex court's direction.
Meanwhile, the apex court bench continued its interim order by which it had said that if I-T Department passes assessment order, it cannot be given effect to till the final disposal of the case and posted the matter for hearing on January 29.
On December 4, 2018, the top court had allowed the I-T Department to continue with the tax re-assessment for the year 2011-12 of Gandhis and Fernandes but the order will not be given effect to till the final disposal of the case.
The apex court had restrained the I-T Dept against any coercive action against them. The top court was hearing the appeals of Gandhis and Fernandes, challenging the I-T Department's decision to reopen tax assessment related to the National Herald and Young India transactions.
Rahul, Sonia, and veteran Congress leader Fernandes had challenged September 10, 2018 verdict of the Delhi High Court after they failed to get any relief from the high court, which had dismissed their challenge on reopening of their tax assessments for 2011-12.
Rahul had willfully chosen to not disclose the fact that he held the director's post at Young India, I-T Department had contended. However, Rahul's counsel had asserted before the high court that the Congress president did not receive any income from the source, and hence was not liable for any tax.
The National Herald case is an ongoing case filed in 2012 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy against Sonia, Rahul, their companies and associates. In November last year, Rahul and Sonia had stated that the application filed by Swamy was not bonafide and that its sole objective was to delay the proceedings in a "lifeless case.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)