Relief for Congress: I-T dept tells Supreme Court no action till Lok Sabha polls | India News

NEW DELHI: Days after issuing notices to Congress raising demand of around Rs 3,500 crore, income tax department on Monday assured Supreme Court it would not take any coercive steps to recover the amount as it did not want to cause any problem for the party during elections.
At the outset of the hearing on Congress’s appeal against a Delhi high court order, solicitor general Tushar Mehta told a bench of Justices B V Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih that he wanted to make a statement on behalf of I-T department.He said no further action would be taken against the opposition party during the ongoing general elections. He said the case could be posted for hearing after June 4 when the results of Lok Sabha polls would be declared. He said he would oppose Congress’s claim then.

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“Since elections are going on, we do not want to create any problem for the party. We will not take action for recovery of the amount and the case could be heard in the second week of June,” he told the bench.
The bench was hearing an appeal filed by Congress in 2018 against a 2016 judgment of Delhi HC. In the appeal, the party had moved an interim application seeking stay of the demand notices issued by I-T department in March.
Initially, Mehta said notices had been issued for recovery of Rs 1,700 crore but senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the total amount was around Rs 3,500 crore which was accepted by the SG. Singhvi appreciated the I-T department for its gracious approach. The court noted I-T department’s stand; the matter has been listed for hearing on July 24.

Relief for Congress_ I-T dept tells SC no action till LS polls.

I-T move follows Cong claims of ‘election-rigging’
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta said although the present appeal was not related to the recent tax notices issued to Congress, I-T department has decided to defer coercive steps in view of impending elections.
The court also clarified that the concession by I-T department was made without prejudice to the right and the contention of the department and the Rs 3,500 crore demand was not strictly relatable to the controversy in this appeal.

Tax relief for Cong_ I-Thits pause till LS polls.

The I-T department’s stand comes following protests from Congress which alleged that its accounts were frozen – a charge the I-T has department has denied – as part of BJP’s conspiracy to rig elections by financially crippling the opponent. The I-T department has justified its move to recover tax arrears and interest by citing Congress’s failure to file returns and not following the appeal process. It pressed on with its claim after Delhi high court did not entertain Congress’s challenge.

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Recording the SG’s statement that the department would keep its order in abeyance till the next date of hearing, the bench said in its order, “The issues which arise in these appeals are yet to be adjudicated upon but having regard to the situation now, the (income tax) department does not wish to precipitate the matter and (says) that no coercive steps will be taken with regard to Rs 3,500 crore approximately. List the matter on second week of July.”

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