SC dismisses plea by firm linked to Vadra against I-T notice

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea by a hospitality firm linked to Robert Vadra against an Income Tax notice for re-assessment of its profits from land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan for 2010-11.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan rejected the appeal filed by Delhi-based firm, Sky Light Hospitality LLP, challenging the Delhi High Court's February order which dismissed its plea against the I-T notice.

The HC had also asked the firm associated with Vadra, son-in-law of former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, to join the proceedings before the assessing officer.

During the hearing, the apex court did not agree with the contention of the company's lawyer that the notice was sent by the IT department to wrong entity -- Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd -- instead of Sky Light Hospitality LLP.

"They (I-T) have to issue notice to the right person," the counsel argued, adding, "they issued notice to a company which did not exist".

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for I-T department, opposed the submissions and said that when "reasons to believe" were recorded by the official concerned, it was recorded that the company's earlier name was Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd which was later renamed as Sky Light Hospitality LLP.

The I-T department, in a tax evasion report tabled earlier before the high court, had said it had reasons to believe that over Rs 35 crore, earned by the firm in 2010-11, "had escaped from assessment".

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