Delhi High Court denies Rahul Gandhi interim relief in National Herald Case

Congress President, Rahul Gandhi was denied interim relief by the Delhi High Court, in connection to transactions between the National Herald and Young Indian Private Limited in which he challenged the re-opening of his tax assessment. According to Asian News International, the Income Tax Department issued the reassessment notice for 2011-2012 in March.

Young Indian is a private company limited by guarantee, in which Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are major stakeholders. The Congress has stated that the company is a not-for-profit organization.

The Company had, in March, asked the court to wait for the recovery of Rs. 241.1 crores in tax and interest after an earlier notice was issued by the tax department for 2011-2012. According to the Indo-Asian News Service, the company contended that it is a charitable firm which does not have any income. The Young Indian was ordered by the court to pay Rs. 10 crores to the Income Tax Department, on March 19th.

The High Court bench consisting of Justices, S. Ravindra Bhat and A.K. Chawla refused to restrain the media from reporting the matter, while the hearing has been scheduled for August 14th.

The All India Congress Committee gave Rs. 99 crores to Associated Journals Limited which is the publisher of three newspapers including National Herald, the Income Tax Department told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday. The department added that Rahul Gandhi did not disclose the fact that he held the post of Director in the Young Indian. The Court, in its statement, said that it will decide if he was obliged to disclose that information.

Since the Congress chief did not receive any income from the source, Gandhi was not liable to paying any tax, his counsel said.

Rahul Gandhi’s shares in Young Indian would amount to an income of Rs. 154 crores, not Rs. 68 lakhs; according to the tax department, as reported by the Press Trust of India. The court will not take any coercive action against Gandhi in the next hearing, Additional Solicitor Tushar Mehta told the court.

BJP leader, Subramanian Swamy filed a private criminal complaint accusing the two Congress leaders of ‘conspiring and cheating with the aim of acquiring properties and assets owned by the National Herald’. He said that they provided an interest-free loan of Rs. 90.25 crores to Associated Journals Limited and transferred the debt to Young India for Rs. 50 lakhs.

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