National Herald case is nothing but vendetta politics by Modi govt

The Income Tax department, egged on by the Modi government, has reopened income tax returns of the Congress leadership of the year 2010-11, after a period of eight years

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media
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NH Web Desk

Congress has lashed out at the Modi government for attempting to divert the attention of people using the IT notice against Young Indian, which runs National Herald, instead of focusing on the fuel price rise, falling rupee and increasing number of lynchings in the country.

The Delhi High Court directed Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his former Congress President Sonia Gandhi to the Income Tax authorities to present their case, which is challenging the Income Tax notice seeking tax reassessment for the financial year 2011-2012. The HC mentioned that if they did not get a fair hearing, they could approach the High Court again.

The order of a bench came while it was hearing the plea of Rahul, Sonia Gandhi and her party colleague Oscar Fernandes against the March I-T notice seeking tax reassessment. The I-T department has told the court that they have concealed facts for evading tax.

Rahul and Sonia Gandhi are major stakeholders in Young Indian which has acquired Associated Journals Limited (AJL). National Herald newspaper was published by AJL.

What are the facts of the case? Here are the facts:

The Income Tax department, egged on by the Modi government, has reopened income tax returns of the Congress leadership of the year 2010-11, after a period of eight years. These returns have been examined by the Modi government in the past too. “We have no problem with that,” said a Congress spokesperson.

The notice says Associated Journals Ltd. which runs ‘National Herald’ in English and ‘Navjivan’ in Hindi, when it could not pay the salary of its employees, ESI and provident fund dues over a period of two years in 1980s and 1990s, the Indian National Congress gave Rs 90 crore of help in shape of a loan to National Herald and Navjivan newspapers.

The IT-Department has been convinced by the Modi government that this loan which was given to the newspapers, which are affiliated to the Congress Party, could have been given as gains to the shareholders of the not-for-profit company Young India.

Even if the Income Tax authorities considered the Rs 90 crore as an income, the tax to be paid on this amount would not be Rs 357 crore, as demanded by the IT authorities. This amount makes it 400% more than the income.

“The case against the newspapers is nothing but illegal. Modi only wants only to shut down National Herald and Navjivan for exposing his misdeeds but the paper can’t be shut down like this. Paper will continue to be published. All that we said this notice is per-se illegal, court looked at the notice, looked at the facts, and said these are facts that need to be told to the Income Tax authorities, please tell all these things to the Income Tax authorities and let them hear. In case, they do not hear, you can always come back,” said a Congress spokesperson.

The IT-Department has been convinced by the Modi government that this loan which was given to the newspapers, which are affiliated to the Congress Party could have been given as gains to the shareholders of the not-for-profit company Young India

A spokesperson of the Modi government went so far ahead to claim that the Bharat Bandh, where the Opposition came together was called on September 10 because the verdict was set to come out on this date.

“Modi spokespersons are talking as if they knew already about what the verdict is going to be. Did Modi Ji know about what the judgment was going to be? Did the Judge tell them what the judgment was going to be? ‘Bharat Bandh’ was announced a week earlier. So, did you know what the judgment would be?” asked the Congress spokesperson

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