The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta on Friday adjourned the hearing on a petition moved by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi challenging the income tax reassessment in relation with the National Herald case to April 23.
The bench made it clear to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that Income Tax Department can reopen an over four-year-old tax assessment only after proving that the assessee had concealed significant particulars and deliberately suppressed facts while filling their income tax returns.
To this, Mr Mehta affirmed that the IT Department has sufficient evidence to prove that Gandhi's had suppressed facts and made false declaration for the year 2011-12, warranting the reopening of tax assessments.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar counsel for Gandhi's, submitted before the court that the IT department was wrong in mixing income tax returns with capital gains through the Young Indian company.
The adjournment was sought on behalf of Gandhi's by senior advocate Kapil Sibal on the ground that the other senior counsel P Chidambaram was at the moment busy campaigning in Sivaganga constituency, where elections are due for April 18.
The Supreme court had in December hearing, 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 the Young Indian company. 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
Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi had moved the Apex court challenging the Delhi High Court order dated September 10, wherein it refused to grant them relief against reopening of their income tax assessments for 2011-12 by the tax department.
The I-T department has launched a probe against the trio including Gandhi's and Congress leader Oscar Fernandes regarding tax assessment for the year 2011-12 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 with an income to the tune of Rs. 150 crores 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.