New Delhi, December 4: The Supreme Court on Tuesday while adjourning the hearing in a case challenging the income tax reassessment in relation with the National Herald case granted permission to the Income Tax department to re-open the tax assessments of Rahul Gandhi, current Congress Chief and Sonia Gandhi, former Congress President, for the financial year 2011-2012, for not disclosing their directorship in Young Indian company.
The Court was dealing with the appeal filed by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi against a Delhi High Court order dated September 10, in which it refused to grant them relief against reopening of their income tax assessments for 2011-12 by the tax department. Besides, Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, has also moved an appeal in the matter.
The bench, however, clarified the I-T department that any orders regarding the reassessment would be subject to the final order of the Supreme Court
The Court has posted the matter for next hearing on January 8, 2019.
The I-T department has launched probe against the trio regarding tax assessment for the year 201-12 under section 147 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, following a complaint by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy.
The I-T department contended that Rahul Gandhi persistently chose not to disclose that his post of director at the Young India which would have provided him an income to the tune of Rs. 150 crore instead of earlier assessed income of Rs. 68 lakh.
The income tax department has also issued a demand notice to Young India Private Limited to the tune of Rs. 249.15 crore for the assessment year 2011-12.
In 1938, Jawaharlal Nehru started the National Herald newspaper under the ownership of the company, the Associated Journals Limited(AJL), which, due to poor performance and circulation finally closed the business in 2008 accruing a debt of Rs. 90 crore.
In the initial years, the Congress party gave unsecured, interest free loans to the company up to 2010. On 23rd November AJL was ultimately taken over by a newly started company, Young India Private Limited for a sum of Rs. 50 lakh.
The AJL, which originally owed Rs. 90 crores to the Congress party, became a fully owned subsidiary of YIL by acquisition of it in 2010.
In 2010, Rahul Gandhi was appointed as its director and further in 2011, Sonia Gandhi also joined the board of directors among others.
Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have individual shareholding of 38% each in the company which was not disclosed to the IT Department and are facing charges for cheating, conspiracy, misappropriation of property and breach of trust under the Indian Penal Code in the National Herald Scam.