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Congress on Fresh ₹1,700 Crore Notice Ahead of LS Elections

March 29, 2024
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New Delhi: The Congress has received a ₹ 1,700 crore notice from the Income Tax Department, a day after the Delhi High Court dismissed the party’s petition challenging the tax notices.

The fresh notice is for assessment years 2017-18 to 2020-21 and includes penalty and interest.

The Congress is already facing a funds crunch after Income Tax authorities imposed a penalty of ₹ 200 crore and froze its funds. The party has not received any relief from the High Court in the case and is likely to move the Supreme Court.

The party has accused the BJP of squeezing it financially and of using tax authorities against it ahead of Lok Sabha elections beginning April 19.

“The notices are being sent to cripple us financially. This is tax terrorism, and this is being used to attack the Congress, This has to stop,” Congress’s Jairam Ramesh said in a press conference today.

He asserted that the Congress’s campaign for the upcoming parliamentary polls will continue and the party will take its guarantees to the people of the country.

“We will not be scared of these notices. We will be more aggressive and fight these polls,” the former Union minister said.

In February, the I-T department had found fault in the party’s tax returns and demanded ₹ 200 crore. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) had asked the party to pay the dues and froze their accounts.

The Congress said the tax tribunal’s order freezing its funds was “an attack on democracy” as the order came just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

On Thursday, the Delhi High Court rejected petitions by the Congress challenging the initiation of tax reassessment proceedings against it for a period of four years.

Funding for political parties is becoming a central issue in this election, particularly after the Supreme Court struck down electoral bonds – which allow individuals and/or businesses to make anonymous donations to political parties – on grounds it violated citizens’ right to information.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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