In a major setback to Congress top leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the Supreme Court today allowed the Income Tax Department to reopen their tax assessment for 2011-12 in connection with the National Herald case.
The apex court, however, restrained the I-T department from implementing its order in the proceedings against Rahul, who is the Congress president, and his mother Sonia till the pendency of the matter before the court.
The court also said it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the pleas filed by Rahul and Sonia Gandhi in the case The tax matter is related to the National Herald case in which the Congress leaders are also facing criminal proceedings.
A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri posted the matter for further hearing on January 8 next year. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the I-T department, said the court should not restrain it from implementing the assessment orders against the Gandhis and others.He said the court should hear the matter and pass appropriate orders.
The Gandhis and senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes have challenged the Delhi High Court’s September 10 verdict by which their plea against the re-opening of their tax assessments for 2011-12 was dismissed.