The Delhi High Court on Wednesday denied relief to Congress President Rahul Gandhi from restraining Income Tax for reassessing his Income Tax return of 2011-2012, for hiding his Directorship in Young Indian in the National Herald case. After slapping a fine of Rs.250 crores on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi firm Young Indian on December 2017, for hushing up the Rs.414 crores income in 2011, the Income Tax found that Rahul Gandhi hushed up his Directorship in Young Indian in tax returns as well.
Income Tax served notice on Rahul Gandhi for re-assessing his Income Tax return of 2011-2012 in March 2018 and he approached the Delhi High Court for quashing the Income Tax move accusing them of coercing. However the Judges declined to give relief. The Court also rejected Rahul’s demand to ban media from reporting the Income Tax procedures in the National Herald case.
The bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla listed the matter for further hearing on August 14, after Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta opposed issuance of any interim order by the court. The ASG, however, assured the bench that till the next date, no coercive step would be taken against Rahul by the tax department.
Rahul’s lawyers led by Arvind Datar argued that they had received no income from Young Indian and sought an interim order from the court as the case related to the assessment is listed in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal on Thursday (August 9).
Here the interesting fact is that the National Herald scam was exposed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in November 1, 2012. This shows that during the filing of his Income Tax Returns of 2011-2012, Rahul cleverly hid his Directorship of his then secret firm Young Indian, floated to covertly acquire the entire assets of defunct newspaper National Herald.
According to the tax department, Rahul’s assessment for the years 2011-12 was decided to be reopened as he did not disclose that he was a director in the company — Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) — since 2010.
As per the tax department, the shares Rahul has in YI would lead him to have an income of Rs.154 crores and not about Rs.68 lakhs, as was assessed by it earlier.
The department has in the instant case applied section 147 of the Income Tax Act, which provides for bringing under the tax net any income which has escaped assessment in the original assessment.
Rahul’s lawyers said the query put to their client during the scrutiny of his assessment was whether he had any interest in any company or sister concern in which he was a director and he had replied in
the negative as YI was a Section 25 company, a non-profit entity, and hence no director would have any interest in it. To this, the bench remarked, “in which event, it is a nice conduit”.
The tax department has already issued a demand notice for around Rs.250 crores to YI for the assessment year 2011-12. Delhi High Court in March 2018 has already ordered Young Indian to deposit Rs.10 crores if they wanted to appeal against the Income Tax fine of Rs.250 crores.
 NH case: Delhi HC orders Young Indian to deposit Rs.10 cr. In Income Tax recovery notice of Rs.250 crores – Mar 19. 2018, PGurus.com
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