In a huge setback to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the Income Tax Tribunal on Friday rejected his application to make Young India a charitable trust. According to reports, with this rejection the Rs 100 crore income tax case against him will reopen.
In 2018, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi along with party leader Oscar Fernandes had challenged the verdict of the Delhi High Court in the Supreme Court. The Delhi High Court had dismissed their plea for the re-assessment of their income tax for 2011-12 in connection with the National Herald case.
The top court had allowed them to approach the I-T Appellate Tribunal for expeditious hearing of the pending appeal challenging the retrospective cancellation of registration granted to Young Indian under the I-T Act.
the Income Tax Tribunal on Friday rejected their application seeking the status of a charitable trust for Young India. In other words, a tax evasion case against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will reopen. The mother-son duo is accused of evading income tax returns to the tune of around Rs 100 crores in 2011-12.
The income tax probe against the Congress leaders has arisen from the investigation into the private criminal complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy before a trial court in connection with the National Herald case, in which the trio are out on bail.
Sonia and Rahul were granted bail in the case by the trial court on December 19, 2015. A tax evasion petition (TEP) was also addressed to the finance minister by Swamy.
In the complaint before the trial court, Sonia, Rahul and others have been accused of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh, through which Young Indian (YI), a not-for-profit organisation, had obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) owed to the Congress party.
It was alleged that YI, which was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of Rs 50 lakh, had acquired almost all shareholdings of the AJL, which was running the National Herald newspaper.
In this process, YI had also acquired AJL's debt of Rs 90 crore.
The tax department had said the shares Rahul has in YI would lead him to have an income of Rs 154 crore and not about Rs 68 lakh, as was assessed earlier.
It has already issued a demand notice for Rs 249.15 crore to YI for the assessment year 2011-12.
The department's move followed its probe on a complaint alleging that the Gandhis had misappropriated AJL's assets while transferring their shares to the newly formed YI.