SC quashes Income Tax notice against NDTV, citing delays. Says Income Tax may issue fresh notice on charges of money round-tripping

Are NDTV claims of victory premature? The Govt has 30-days to issue a fresh notice under the right IT section of the law to realize the tax revenues

Are NDTV claims of victory premature? The Govt has 30-days to issue a fresh notice under the right IT section of the law to realize the tax revenues
Are NDTV claims of victory premature? The Govt has 30-days to issue a fresh notice under the right IT section of the law to realize the tax revenues

The Supreme Court on Friday quashed the Income Tax (IT) notice against NDTV citing the delay in filing the case and gave liberty to the Tax authorities to initiate a fresh notice on the tax evasion. The 32-page order concentrated on the issuing of notice after four years and rejected the claim of the Income Tax department that they have a right to issue notice within 16 years. The apex court only looked at the matter of delay over four years in issuing a notice on the tax evasions that happened during the period 2007-2009. The IT issued its notice in 2015. It must be remembered that the scam happened during the era of Congress-ruled UPA and Income tax acted only after Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government came back to power. So it is a matter of debate as to whether the Income Tax department would have been allowed to act within four years when the UPA was in power.

The 32-page order says the Court is not looking into other charges of Income Tax on money laundering and tax evasion and looking only based on the fund transfer from NDTV’s England based shell firm and not looking into NDTV’s money laundering through Netherland based shell firm. The Order which came as a relief to the scam-hit TV channel concentrated on the delay in the filing of the notice and gave liberty to the Tax authorities to file a fresh notice on the charges of money laundering and other charges.

“Conclusion – 44. We accordingly allow the appeal by holding that the notice issued to the assessee (NDTV) shows sufficient reasons to believe on the part of the assessing officer to reopen the assessment but since the revenue has failed to show non­disclosure of facts the notice having been issued after a period of 4 years is required to be quashed.   Having held so, we make it clear that we have not expressed   any   opinion   on   whether   on   facts   of   this   case   the revenue   could   take   benefit   of   the   second   proviso   or   not. Therefore, the revenue may issue fresh notice taking benefit of the second proviso if otherwise permissible under law.  We make it   clear   that   both   the   parties   shall   be   at   liberty   to   raise   all contentions   with   regard   to   the   validity   of such   notice. All pending application(s) shall stand(s) disposed of,” said the judgment portion of the Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta.

NDTV approached Supreme Court in October 2017, against the Delhi High Court (HC) Order ratifying the money laundering and tax evasion findings of the Income Tax and Tribunals. The HC bench headed by Justice Ravindra Bhatt rejected the NDTV’s argument of delay in filing notice after four years of the assessment and approved the Income Tax charges on grave violation in tax evasion and money laundering of more than Rs.525 crores. In Supreme Court, for more than a year NDTV’s appeal was heard by a Bench headed by Justice Rohinton Nariman and later it came to the current Bench[1].

The Supreme Court said that the power of the Income Tax department to re-open cases after 16 years can’t be allowed based on the provisions of the Tax Notice issued to NDTV and it must be limited within four years.

NDTV was represented by Adv Arvind Datar and Income Tax was represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. As per the current Order, within 30 days Income Tax has to decide, whether they are issuing a fresh notice to NDTV for the money routing and round-tripping through England and Netherland shell firms or not. Latest update: Late night, Business Today has reported that the Government has asked Income Tax to issue a fresh notice to NDTV.

NDTV’s founders Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy are presently facing CBI charges for cheating ICICI Bank and another FIR for opening shell firms across the World to round trip the funds. In both cases, CBI has not yet filed Chargesheets.

The 32-page Supreme Court Order is published below:

NDTV_27766_2017_0_1503_21584_Judgement_03-Apr-2020 by PGurus on Scribd


[1] NDTV suppressed Rs.1107 crores profit from Income Tax authoritiesOct 1, 2017,

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  1. A week public persecutor helps the accused. BJP is always loosing the arguments in Supreme Court. Are BJP lawyers incompetent ? or they are also purchased by these Khangress stooges i.e. NDTV Bosses for some late night shows.

  2. Truth has an expiry date – The Case of NDTV Frauds

    I am appalled at the wisdom of Supreme Court of India. The SC quashed Income Tax notice against NDTV, citing delays. What a flimsy excuse.

    It seems that all laws and rules are for the common honest citizen where full force of law is applied. Whereas all loopholes are used to allow escape of the corrupt and crooked politicians, bureaucracy, money launderers and the anti-national terrorists.

    The Indian Judges do make all the convicts feel safe, as they all know that either they will be fully pardoned (ultimately by the Supreme Court) or the cases will go on for so long that delivery of justice won’t matter. Look at the Nirbhaya Case and many other cases, where the justice for a common person was put on a toss, with loopholes played upon by the keepers of law. Similar was the status of misappropriation case against the famous Southern Indian politician, where the Law had almost exonerated her, but finally the lord took care of the ultimate justice. History has proven that our justice system is renowned to find loopholes which help the culprits. If there are no loopholes, then the system creates them by making the case either time barred or by pointing towards some slight procedural mistake made by the investigating agency.

    Never ever we see that the Judges use their wisdom and jail the conniving officers or decision makers who were in hand and gloves with the convict and allowed for the lapses. It is always the common and honest taxpayer who either losses his house or property which was bought after savings of many many years.

    I can give example of many such cases like Campa Cola Society and the Adarsh Housing Society. In case of Campa Cola Compound the courts allowed the people responsible to go free and never pinpointed any responsibility, whereas the poor homeowners were penalized for buying the houses and paying house tax. In case of Adarsh Housing Scam the high and mighty are all free on bail and courts have quashed cases against the Ex CM. The truth indeed has an expiry date. And the Truth is killed by the very own people who are responsible for protecting it.

    There are many more examples of Judicial failings, some of which can be read in Arun Shourie Book “Courts And Their Judgements: Premises, Prerequisites, Consequences .
    One of the most glaring examples was the struggle by the Bonded Labors which was dragged under the nose of Indian Government and Courts for many decades.

    Look at the innumerable cases of corruption pending in Indian courts, where the culprit is out on bail and enjoying the many crores he has looted, and gives two hoots to the justice system of India.

    Many years back, I had read a quote which provide to me a great definition for law and Justice. It said “What is Justice? Justice is the law. And the law is man’s feeble attempt to set down the principles of decency. And Decency is what your grandmother taught you.” Now a days it seems that the entire Judiciary in India has lost it’s decency. Maybe their Grandmother never imbibed into them a good upbringing and decency, or the Judges have forgotten their childhood lessons.

    We are told that preservation of an independent Judicial system is a must for democracy. But so is the importance of independent courts which are non-corruptible and accountable to the honest citizens of our country. At present we find that there is no accountability for the Judges, who cannot be impeached for judicial impropriety, and can never be questioned by anyone as they can threaten any one with Contempt of Court.

    After removing UPA from power, entire India now looks toward the present BJP government to cleanse the system, and book the culprits who looted the country. Yes many cases are pending in the courts, but remember that so are the remnants of Ex UPA appointed IAS/IPS and Judiciary, who are still interested in return of Power to their erstwhile corrupt masters.

    Modi government has reopened many cases of corruption, but the courts take up these cases as per their own slow speed, which may take another 10 to 20 years for cases of national importance to be concluded. At best the hope of the corrupt is that the Government may change during the next elections, and with change of power the cases will be diluted or revoked. Can India afford to allow the corrupt to remain free outside Jails.

    With this Judgment it is now proven that the Truth has an expiry date. In future you may cheat the tax department or rob anyone, and if you have high connections no one will try to catch you. And the courts will let you go scot free after the expiry date of truth.

  3. Increasingly seems like these cases are on some sort of “pay and get out free” basis…Everyone who is either under the scanner for chori or was in jail for chori is now out and has basically gone scott free after some eyewash for the public’s benefit. What happened to all the chest thumping & election promises? This BJP govt. is another face of the same coin. I’m highly disillusioned. At least I won’t have to waste my time voting anymore.

  4. It is quite obvious that a one (or more?) Minister in the Modi Cabinet is assisting the NDTV to delay, defer the proceedings.

    The hidden hand of P. Chidambaram is evident since if NDTV & the Roys are arraigned the probes will identify & pinpoint the Master Planner Chidu

    Modi Govt has become a prisoner of its own:
    1. Minister(s?) who r out to protect the UPA Scamsters – come what may
    2. Babus – who are still in the UPA Payroll

    • Well Said.
      It is claimed that PM Modi is a “master” in timings events!!!!
      Abuse Proof PM Modi likes corrupt people around him to run the administration. he does not trust his own party-men. Those who abused him in an unprintable lingo enjoyed very high positions in his majboot sarkar for five years.

      For five years his bosom friend late FM Jaitley protected PC and Nehru dynasty and now someone took his charge and helping crooks. During May 2019 elections PM Modi did a hi infidelity drama on Nirav, Mallyas et al , now lowered the guard.

      Since 2015, I stopped liking PM Modi. I like him working for of us 18 hours a day.He is not interested in doing good to our Economy but concentrating on external affairs, ignoring internal issue with a weak economy for over three years now. Not due to COID19.

  5. Enron Chief Lee was handcuffed and paraded from the court to jail in USA for falsifying and money laundering after a rapid trial. Indians are corrupt to the core be it top bureaucrats, elected politicians, Judges, Police Officers, judges, Chartered Accountants. They all cheat the common ordinary folks. It stinks.

    • True.
      Had Dr.S.Swamy been in the PM Modi’s Cabinet, he would have done many good things for our lonely Hindu nation on the Globe. Dr.Swamy uses the Indian Constitution nicely and uses his vast experience. My desire is to have an open and Live debate on any and many issues between PM Modi and Dr. S.Swamy.

  6. Is it a weak case put by BJP or Supreme Court is playing spoil sport ? Who are the judges & what is their integrity that they are not stooges of Khangress party.

  7. Snakes have 7 lives. ND TV Promoters are getting away with money laundering offence. Congress snakes & their stooge corrupts are so brave easily get away with lacuna in Laws & with help of battery of Lawyers with corrupt money available to their end. I doubt, any corrupts in India with corrupt Politicians & Govt Babus hand in gloves can ever be punished like in USA where Powerful & mighty culprits are sent jail in the matter of 10-12 months. ND TV approached SC in 2017 & Court’s verdicts comes in 2020 which itself shows,how tough it is to proceed against Politically supported Corrupts. Hope, IT Dept file again Charge Sheet against ND TV with concrete evidence to ensure Corrupts are punished.


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