Supreme Court Defers Hearing of Gandhis’ Income Tax Assessment Case Till Dec 13

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing on petitions filed by Congress leaders and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) challenging the transfer of their income tax assessments to the Central Circle, a move aimed at curbing tax evasion. The hearing is now scheduled for December 13.

The court noted that formal notices were not yet issued for their appeals against the Delhi High Court’s order upholding the transfer. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued against the need for formal notices, reiterating the Income Tax department’s commitment to avoid any final assessment orders until the court’s decision.

The petitions specifically contest the Delhi High Court’s May 26th order rejecting their pleas against the Income Tax department’s decision to shift their assessments to the Central Circle. The Gandhis had challenged the January 2021 order transferring their cases for the 2018-19 assessment year due to alleged connections with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

The high court, however, ruled that the transfers were conducted legally, clarifying that the Central Circle’s jurisdiction extends beyond search cases. It further emphasized that individuals do not possess a fundamental or legal right to be assessed by a specific officer.

The Gandhis had opposed the transfer on various grounds, maintaining their lack of involvement in Bhandari’s cases. The IT department defended the transfer, citing “better coordination, effective investigation, and meaningful assessment” for administrative convenience and exigency.

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