The Supreme Court on Monday decided to list the appeal filed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi challenging the Delhi High Court order allowing their income tax from the year 2011-2012 to be reassessed by the Income Tax Department, for final hearing on March 17.
The appeals pending before the apex court emerge out of the National Herald case in which the Gandhis were served with a notice of reassessment by the I-T Department stating that they had concealed their directorship in Young Indian in the tax returns filed by them in 2011.
The notice was challenged by the Gandhis before the Delhi HC which ruled against the Congress leaders and allowed for the reassessment by the I-T Department. Subsequently, an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court and the I-T Department on January 8 last year that had informed the Supreme Court that an assessment order with respect to the Gandhis was passed but not yet given effect to. Since then, the matter has been pending for final disposal.
On Monday, Senior Advocate P. Chidambaram appearing for the Gandhis before the top court, informed a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that an application filed by the Gandhis before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal was scheduled to come up for hearing on February 28, which might have an impact on the hearing before the Supreme Court.
The Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, appearing for the I-T Department communicated his concerns to the Court that the matter might be delayed “indefinitely”. Justice Chandrachud opined that the bench was of the view that the matter before the Appellate Tribunal would be disposed of by now, but because it wasn’t, the Supreme Court agreed to adjourn the hearing till March 17. Addressing the concerns of the Solicitor General, Justice Chandrachud also told Tushar Mehta that the Supreme Court will ensure that the matter is not kept pending indefinitely and that it's listed for final disposal in March.