Assessment order passed against Rahul, Sonia

The Income Tax department informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that an assessment order (AO) with respect to the tax of top Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi for 2011-12 in connection with the National Herald case has been passed but not being given effect.

The top court allowed the AO, passed on December 31, 2018 raising the tax demand from Congress president Rahul, his mother Sonia and others, to be placed on record after the I-T department insisted on it, but said that it would not form any opinion on the merits of the case on its basis.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah also asked Sonia and Rahul to file an affidavit and place on record in one week a CBDT circular which was issued on December 31, 2018 to clarify about taxes on valuations, but was recalled on January 4.

The court asked the I-T department to file its reply to the affidavit and the circular to be filed by the Congress leaders within a week thereafter.

The bench said that interim order passed earlier by the court will continue and posted the matter for further hearing on January 29.

The tax matter is related to the National Herald case in which the Congress leaders are also facing criminal proceedings.

Senior advocate P Chidambaram, appearing for the Gandhis, said the CBDT had on December 31 issued a circular clarifying applicability of section 56(2)(viia) of the I-T Act for issue of shares by a company.

"This circular December 31, 2018, clarified the point of receive of share. However, interestingly four days later, the CBDT withdrew the circular saying the matter is sub-judice", he said.

Chidambaram said he would like to place the circular before the court but Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for I-T department, objected to it saying that the Gandhis need to file an affidavit giving the reasons before placing any material on record.

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Assessment order passed against Rahul, Sonia

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