No Coercive Action during Lok Sabha Election against INC, says Centre to Supreme Court in Rs. 3500 Cr Income Tax Demand Matter

In a significant development on Monday, the Union Government stated before the Supreme Court that it would refrain from taking any coercive measures against the Indian National Congress ( INC ) regarding an income tax demand of around Rs 3500 crores until July 2024, citing the proximity of the Lok Sabha elections.

The Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, conveyed this assurance on behalf of the Union Government during proceedings before a bench comprising Justices BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih. The bench was addressing a civil appeal lodged by the Congress party back in 2018 challenging a 2016 ruling by the Delhi High Court. As part of this appeal, the party had filed an interim application seeking a halt to recent demand notices issued by the Income Tax Department in March, as well as contesting the High Court’s findings. The Solicitor General clarified that the current appeal did not directly pertain to the recent tax notices sent to the Congress party. Nevertheless, in light of the imminent elections, the Department has decided to defer any coercive measures.

“The impugned judgment dates back to 2016. Until the matter is fully heard, we will refrain from initiating any recovery or coercive actions given the ongoing elections. Let’s schedule the hearing for the second week of July,” the Solicitor General stated. In its official order, the bench recorded the Solicitor General’s statement as follows: “The issues raised in these appeals are yet to be resolved. However, considering the current circumstances, the department opts not to escalate the matter, and thus, no coercive actions will be taken over the approximately Rs 3500 crores demand until the next hearing date.” The bench also noted that the demand of approximately Rs

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