In a massive blow to the Gandhis, the Delhi High Court on Monday rejected Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi's plea challenging the Income Tax notice seeking tax reassessment for the financial year 2011-2012, in connection with the National Herald Case. The petition regarding the same, filed by senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, has also been rejected by the court.
The Delhi High Court while rejecting the petitions, said the Income Tax department has powers to reopen tax proceedings and that the petitioners can approach income tax department with their grievances.
Earlier on August 14, the Congress President had appeared in the Delhi High Court after the I-T department accused him of concealing income in the years 2011-2012 by not disclosing that he was a director in Young Indian Private Limited (YIL). The same day, Sonia Gandhi and Oscar Fernandes, too, had moved the Delhi High Court, challenging the reopening of their assessments by the income-tax regarding the Young Indian-National Herald transactions.
This came after Republic TV had accessed a 463-page- report, the 'Rahul Gandhi tax file'. The tax file had made a stunning revelation that the Income Tax department sent three notices to Rahul Gandhi for tax evasion in the years 2011-2012.
The tax file had revealed that Rahul Gandhi had hidden from the Income-Tax department that he was a Director in Young India, which is the main company involved in the ‘National Herald case’. Since, Rahul Gandhi had allegedly hidden the facts from the I-T department, a whopping amount of Rs 154.97 crore couldn't be assessed by the I-T department. The tax file also reveals that along with being the Director, he was also the direct beneficiary of the funds directed at ‘Young India’.
The amount of Rs 154.97 crore is said to be obtained by Rahul Gandhi by buying the shares of ‘Young India’ at a lesser price than the fair market value of the shares.
However, at that point of time, to block the reassessment, Rahul Gandhi had challenged the notice in the Delhi High Court. The Congress President had told the court that he didn’t hide the fact that he was the Director of ‘Young India’ and this is the reason why his income shouldn’t be reassessed.