No Coercive Steps To Recover ₹3,500 Cr From Congress Till Elections, Income Tax Dept Tells SC

No Coercive Steps To Recover ₹3,500 Cr From Congress Till Elections, Income Tax Dept Tells SC

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the IT department, made the undertaking before the apex court that no coercive step would be taken against the party.

ANIUpdated: Monday, April 01, 2024, 02:26 PM IST
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Income tax department | File Photo

The Income Tax Department of the Central Government assured the Supreme Court on Monday that it will not take any coercive steps to recover approximately Rs 3500 crore in income tax dues from the Indian National Congress (INC) party until the upcoming general elections are over.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the IT department, made the undertaking before the apex court that no coercive step would be taken against the party.

Mehta said that the issue in the present appeal was not related to the recent tax notices issued to the Congress party, yet, considering the upcoming elections, the IT department will not take any coercive steps.

"Till the matter is heard, we will not take recovery/coercive steps as elections are going on," Mehta told a bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih.

Mehta said the IT department does not want to create problems for any party during elections.

The bench recording the undertaking of the Solicitor General, in it's order stated, "The issues that arise in these appeals are yet to be adjudicated upon but having regard to the situation now, the (Income Tax) Department does not wish to precipitate the matter inasmuch as no coercive steps will be taken with regard to (the tax demand of) Rs 3,500 crores approximately till the next date of hearing. List the matter in the second week of July." The bench also recorded in its order the Solicitor General's submission that the Rs 3500 crore demand is not strictly related to the controversy in these appeals.

Rs 3500 crore also includes the levy of notices worth about Rs 1,700 crore that were issued last week.

The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the Congress party in 2018 against a 2016 judgment of the Delhi High Court. In the appeal, the party moved an interim application seeking the recent demand notices issued by the IT department in March.

The Delhi High Court on March 28 rejected the Congress's plea challenging the initiation of tax reassessment proceedings against it for assessment years 2017 to 2021 by tax authorities.

The High Court had said the pleas were dismissed in terms of its earlier decision refusing to interfere with the opening of reassessment for another period.

On March 22, the High Court rejected the Congress's plea challenging the initiation of reassessment proceedings pertaining to assessment years 2014-15 to 2016-17.

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