Congress Faces Setback as Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Rejects Petition to Halt Department’s Action on Bank Accounts

Mar8,2024 #CONGRESS
congress party rahul gandhi law insider
congress party rahul gandhi law insider

LI Network

Published on: March 08, 2024 at 20:36 IST

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has declined to entertain the party’s plea to halt the Income Tax Department’s actions against its bank accounts. This decision comes just weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, adding a layer of complexity to the political landscape.

Following the dismissal of the petition on Friday, Vivek Tankha, the counsel representing Congress and also the head of its legal cell, appealed for the order to be temporarily suspended for ten days. Tankha expressed disappointment with the tribunal’s decision, alleging that it deviated from its own established precedents. He indicated that the party would promptly approach the Delhi High Court to challenge the ruling.

The recent dispute stems from the Income Tax Department’s freezing of ₹115 crore in Congress’ bank accounts, citing a tax demand of ₹210 crore for the financial year 2018-19, coinciding with an election year. Congress leader Ajay Maken had claimed that ₹65 crore had been withdrawn by the department from three of the party’s accounts despite an ongoing petition before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal challenging the claim.

Accusing the BJP of misusing central agencies for political gains, Congress reiterated its stance that the tax demand was politically motivated and aimed at disrupting its election preparations. The party labeled the move as “financial terrorism” by the BJP government, alleging an attempt to debilitate the primary opposition party ahead of the elections.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge expressed deep concern over the Income Tax department’s actions, describing them as a severe blow to democracy. He highlighted the discrepancy in treatment, alleging that while the BJP’s funds were allowed for electoral use, Congress’ resources gathered through crowdfunding were being targeted for restraint.

Kharge emphasized the importance of the judiciary’s intervention to safeguard India’s democracy and preserve the multi-party system. He vowed to take to the streets to protest against what he termed as injustice and dictatorship.

As the legal battle intensifies, the Congress party braces itself for a tough fight, both in the courtrooms and on the political front, ahead of the impending Lok Sabha elections.

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