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Congress Receives Tax Relief: No Coercive Steps Over ₹3,500 Crore Demand

congress

In a significant development, the Indian National Congress (INC) has received a much-needed respite ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The Centre has assured the Supreme Court that it will refrain from taking any coercive action against the Congress regarding the tax demand notices amounting to approximately ₹3,500 crore12.

Background

The Congress party had been grappling with income tax demands totaling ₹3,500 crore, which were issued by the Income Tax (I-T) department. These notices covered a span of five years, from 1994-95 to 2020-211. Additionally, fresh notices were served for the assessment years 2014-15 to 2016-17, demanding an additional ₹1,745 crore1. The I-T department had previously conducted raids before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, unearthing “unaccounted transactions” amounting to ₹523.87 crore1.

Solicitor General’s Assurance

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Income Tax department, assured the Supreme Court that no coercive steps would be taken to recover the outstanding amount from the Congress until after the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. This decision aims to prevent any undue disruption to the political landscape during the electoral process1.

Congress’s Response

In response to the notices, the Congress party did not mince words. It accused the BJP-led government of engaging in “tax terrorism” with the intent to “financially cripple” the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The battle over tax demands has intensified, and the Congress remains steadfast in its stance.

Way Forward

The matter is scheduled for its next hearing on July 24, 2024. Until then, the Congress can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that no immediate coercive measures will be taken to recover the substantial tax dues. As the election season unfolds, both parties will closely watch the legal proceedings, aware of the implications for the political landscape.

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