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'Won't take steps to recover Rs 1,700 crore from Congress during Lok Sabha polls': IT officials tell SC

The court was addressing a petition filed by the Congress challenging the tax department's demand for Rs 1,700 crore. Acknowledging the department's commitment, the bench recorded the assurance that the Congress would not face coercive measures.

Wont take steps to recover Rs 1,700 crore from Congress during Lok Sabha polls: IT officials tell SC AJR
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First Published Apr 1, 2024, 12:32 PM IST

The Income Tax department on Monday (April 1) assured the Supreme Court that it would defer any action to recover Rs 1,700 crore from the Congress party until after the Lok Sabha elections. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the tax department, conveyed to the apex court that there would be no repercussions for any political party during this period.

The court was addressing a petition filed by the Congress challenging the tax department's demand for Rs 1,700 crore. Acknowledging the department's commitment, the bench recorded the assurance that the Congress would not face coercive measures.

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The Congress party criticized the Centre for issuing tax notices ahead of the general election, accusing Prime Minister Modi of financially debilitating it.

Facing a barrage of notices from the Income Tax department, the party's cumulative demand has surged to over Rs 3,500 crore. The Rs 1,700 crore demand encompasses penalties and interest for assessment years spanning from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

To offset tax dues and interest for the 2018-19 assessment year, totaling Rs 135 crore, the tax department has already withdrawn funds from Congress' bank accounts in Delhi, citing failure to meet specified conditions for exemption.

Addressing a rare joint press conference at the AICC headquarters, Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi asserted that the government's freeze on accounts has not only adversely affected the Indian National Congress but has also undermined the core of democracy.

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