New Delhi, Sept 10: The Delhi High Court has rejected the plea filed by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, mother Sonia Gandhi and senior party leader Oscar Fernandes, in connection to the Income Tax department proceedings against them in the National Herald case.
The Gandhis and Fernandes, in their plea, had challenged the reopening of their tax assessment for the year 2011-12. In that financial year, the Associated Journal Limited (AJL), the parent company of newspaper National Herald, was taken over by Young India Private Limited, which lists Rahul and Sonia as 38 percent shareholder each.
National Herald Case: Delhi High Court says Income Tax department has powers to reopen tax proceedings and that the petitioners can approach Income Tax department with their grievances. https://t.co/vqHLzMLTJf
— ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018
A magisterial court, had found allowed the framing of prima facie charge against the Gandhis and Fernandes, based on the petition of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy.
Swamy had alleged a case of fraud, claiming that the AJL was granted an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore in 2011, a year before the company was taken over by the Young India Pvt Ltd.
"They can't escape the law forever. They committed a calculated fraud, but the court will expose them," Swamy had said in recent television interview.
Before the Delhi HC, the Gandhi were represented by senior advocate P Chidambaram. During the course of arguments, Chidambaram said that even if this was taxable income, it would not go into the hands of YI's shareholders, as it was registered as a not-for-profit firm.
This comes as the second major setback to the Gandhis in the past few days, as the Delhi HC on August 8 rejected Rahul Gandhi's plea which sought protection from "any coercive action" by the I-T department. The bench also dismissed his appeal seeking restraint on alleged negative reporting by a section of the media related to the case.