No coercive action against Cong to recover Rs 3,500 cr dues : IT Dept tells SC

New Delhi, Apr 1 (UNI) The Income Tax department on Monday assured the Supreme Court that it will not take any coercive steps to recover Rs 3500 crore dues from the Congress party till the end of the upcoming Lok Sabha Election.

Solicitor General of India (SGI) Tushar Mehta gave an undertaking before a bench headed by Justice BV Nagarathna, that as an interim measure, no coercive action shall be taken against the Congress party to recover the Income Tax dues till the end of the Lok Sabha election.

The Court said, that the issues which 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 and (says) that no coercive steps will be taken concerning (the tax demand of) Rs 3,500 crores approximately.

The Court was hearing a plea by the Congress party against the said income tax demands, which SG informed was rooted in a 2016 Judgement.

Mehta added that while the Congress party has paid about Rs 134 crores in income tax dues this year, an additional demand for Rs 1,700 crores has now been raised based on earlier laid down criteria.

The Central government’s counsel assured the Apex Court that any action to recover the pending dues would be deferred till the Lok Sabha polls is over.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Congress party was taken aback by the Central government’s gesture and said, “I am rendered speechless and very few times I am”.

Justice Nagarathna said, “You (Congress) shouldn’t perceive negative about someone all the time!”

“Singhvi said, “We (Congress) are not a profit-making organisation and only a political party”.

To this SG Mehta said, “We (Income Tax authorities) will not take coercive steps till the Lok Sabha election is over.”

“On March 27, 28, 29… There was a block assessment and income tax authority has collected Rs 135 crores by attachment of properties … There is a demand of Rs 3,500 crores, These are demands arising from March 14, 28, 29, 30 …,” SG Mehta told the Court.

The Court recorded SG’s undertaking and adjourned the matter till July.

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