• Notification Date: 11-03-2024
  • Notification No: N/A

Income Tax Tribunal dismisses Congress's Appeal against Rs 210 crore Penalty

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal on Friday dismissed the Congress party's appeal against imposition of penalty for discrepancies in tax returns for previous years and said it was exploring all legal options and will move the high court against it very soon.

Sources said the tribunal had dismissed the appeal of the Congress for imposition of penalties of Rs 210 crore by the Income Tax department here on Friday.

Congress treasurer Ajay Maken said the party is exploring all legal options and would move the high court "very soon".

"The BJP government has deliberately chosen the timing of this to coincide with national elections," Maken told PTI.

He said the I-T tribunal order freezing Congress's funds is "an attack on democracy" as it has come just ahead of national elections.

"How can one expect fair elections in such a situation when funds to the tune of Rs 270 crore have been freezed or taken away by the Income Tax authorities from Congress party's accounts," he asked.

Confirming the order, Congress' legal cell head Vivek Tankha said the Tribunal has not even followed its own past precedents in this regard and the party will be approaching the High Court soon.

"We are disappointed with the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal order. We will be moving the High Court very soon. They have not followed their own past precedents in granting relief on payment of 20 percent penalty and that too to a national party which is now on the verge of contesting national elections, which is going to be notified soon," Tankha told PTI.

He appeared before the tribunal on behalf of the party appealing against the I-T authorities order imposing penalty worth Rs 210 crore for alleged discrepancies in I-T returns for previous years.

The Congress had earlier termed the Income Tax authorities' decision as "tax terrorism" coming ahead of general elections only to cripple the funds of the principal opposition party.

The Congress had earlier alleged that the Income Tax department has "withdrawn" a sum of Rs 65 crore from its accounts in different banks "undemocratically" and claimed that it has freezed another Rs 205 crore of its funds.

Maken claimed that "democracy will be over in the country if the action of probe agencies goes unchecked" and said the Congress has full faith in the judiciary.