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March 11, 2024

“Congress Challenges Tax Penalty Dismissal in Delhi HC: Urges for Fund Release Amid Frozen Accounts”

The Congress party has taken a decisive step in contesting the dismissal of its plea by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) regarding penalties imposed for discrepancies found in specific tax returns. Moving swiftly, the party has lodged a challenge before the Delhi High Court, seeking redressal and urging for an urgent hearing to address the pressing matter.

Senior advocate Vivek Tankha, representing the Congress, presented the case before a bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela. Tankha emphasized the urgency of the situation, highlighting that the accounts of the political party stand frozen due to the ongoing dispute.

Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Acting Chief Justice Manmohan expressed willingness to expedite proceedings, agreeing to list the case for hearing on the same day, provided the petition meets the requisite legal standards.

The latest legal maneuver comes in response to the recent dismissal by the ITAT of the Congress’ appeal against penalties imposed for discrepancies identified in tax returns from previous fiscal years. The party has vehemently opposed the IT tribunal’s decision, labeling it as an assault on democratic principles, particularly given its timing just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Sources familiar with the matter have revealed that the ITAT upheld the Income Tax department’s imposition of penalties amounting to a substantial Rs 210 crore, further exacerbating the financial constraints faced by the Congress.

The move to challenge the dismissal of the plea underscores the party’s determination to pursue legal avenues to safeguard its interests and secure the release of its frozen funds. The Congress contends that the penalties imposed are unwarranted and pose a significant impediment to its functioning, particularly during a crucial electoral period.

Moreover, the timing of the tribunal’s decision has raised eyebrows, with many viewing it as a politically motivated move aimed at undermining the Congress’ electoral prospects. By moving swiftly to seek legal recourse, the party aims to not only contest the penalties but also to uphold the integrity of the democratic process and ensure a level playing field in the upcoming elections.

The outcome of the legal challenge before the Delhi High Court is anticipated to have far-reaching implications, not only for the Congress but also for the broader political landscape. A favorable ruling could pave the way for the release of the party’s frozen funds and bolster its campaign efforts, while a contrary decision could deepen the financial woes and pose significant challenges in the run-up to the elections.

In the face of mounting legal hurdles, the Congress remains resolute in its commitment to uphold the principles of democracy and justice, vowing to pursue all available legal avenues to address the matter effectively. As the legal battle unfolds, all eyes are on the Delhi High Court, awaiting its verdict on this crucial issue that holds implications beyond the realm of taxation, resonating deeply with the essence of democratic governance.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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