SC to hold hearing in National Herald case

New Delhi, Mar 29 (IANS) | Publish Date: 3/29/2019 12:04:13 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Friday fixed April 23 for the final hearing of the petition filed by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA chief Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes challenging the notice relating to tax assessment for the year 2011-2012 related to the National Herald and Young India transactions.

The bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta said that the matter would be taken up for final hearing on April 23 and if required the hearing would continue on the subsequent day as well.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar appearing for the Congress leaders sought an adjournment contending that the matter would require a full-day hearing. This was opposed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who said that a very short issue was involved and it would not require a daylong hearing.

The brief hearing saw Justice Chandrachud asking about the period to which the assessment under challenge was. He said any reopening of assessment beyond four years would require a different procedure and within four years another procedure.  While adjourning the matter for April 23, the court continued the interim relief against any coercive action against the Gandhis and Fernandes. The Supreme Court had on December 4 allowed the Income Tax Department to carry on with the exercise to reassess the tax of the Congress leaders for 2011-12.  The court had then said that the income tax authorities can go ahead with the reassessment of the Congress leaders tax, pass orders but would refrain from giving effect to it till the next date of hearing. 

The three Congress leaders have moved the top court challenging the September 10 Delhi High Court order by which it had dismissed their plea challenging the Income Tax notice seeking tax reassessment for the financial year 2011-2012.

On the last hearing of the matter on January 8, the top court was informed that the assessing officer has also passed the assessment order, which has been served upon the Gandhis and Fernandes along with the tax demand.

However, it has not been given effect to in view of the December 4 interim order restraining any coercive action.

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