High Court Rejects Gandhis’ Petition Over Income Tax Assessment Transfer

The Gandhis challenged the order issued by the Income Tax principal commissioner to transfer their cases

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court today rejected petitions by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra against the Income Tax department’s decision to transfer their assessments to the Central Circle instead of an ordinary assessment in a matter related to arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

The court also rejected separate petitions, which raised similar legal issues, by Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust, Jawahar Bhawan Trust, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, Young Indian and the Aam Aadmi Party.

The Gandhis challenged the order issued by the Income Tax principal commissioner to transfer their cases for assessment year 2018-19 to the Central Circle.

Central Circles are mandated with checking tax evasion. They take over the evidence gathered by investigation wing during searches.

“The assessment of petitioners have been transferred to the Central Circle in accordance with law. The present writ petitions are dismissed,” said a bench of Justices Manmohan and Dinesh Kumar Sharma while pronouncing the verdict.

“Undoubtedly there cannot be guilt by association or relationship, yet in the present matters, assessments have been transferred for the purposes of a coordinated investigation,” added the bench.

The court said Central Circle jurisdiction is not confined to search cases and no assesse has any fundamental or vested legal right to be assessed by a faceless assessing officer.

The court clarified it has not examined the “controversy between the parties on merits”.

The transfer of their cases to the Central Circle was opposed by the Gandhis on the ground that they have nothing to do with the Sanjay Bhandari group’s cases.

Sanjay Bhandari, wanted in India on money laundering charges, has been allegedly linked to Priyanka Gandhi’s husband, Robert Vadra, over a London-based flat. Robert Vadra has denied any business connections with the accused.

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

Source link

Arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari to be extradited to India, rules UK court | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, wanted in cases related to tax evasion and kickbacks in an arms deal, will be extradited to India from the UK.
The Westminster Magistrates Court in London has ordered his extradition and sent his case to the country’s home secretary for further processing.
Sanjay Bhandari is accused of knowingly defrauding the Indian income tax authorities between July 1, 2015 and February 7, 2017 by submitting two tax returns in which he deliberately omitted foreign assets and foreign income even though, as a resident of India at the time, he was obliged to pay tax on all his global assets and income.
He also chose not to avail of an opportunity to declare undisclosed assets and income. The charges are that he dishonestly made a false representation to the Indian income tax authorities as he was intending to make gains for himself, and that he sought to conceal his foreign assets and income. He is also accused of money laundering.
Bhandari is also alleged to have been a middleman in the Pilatus deal and paid kickbacks to officials in the Indian Air Force and defence ministry to influence their decision to procure 75 basic trainer aircraft from the Swiss aircraft manufacturer in 2009. Pilatus Aircraft Ltd allegedly made payments into the bank account of his Dubai-based company, Offset India Solutions FZC, to obtain the Rs 2,895-crore contract.
Both the CBI and the ED have cases against him in India.
Bhandari fled India in 2016 — despite a lookout notice — after a case was registered against him under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in October 2016 relating to the recovery of confidential defence ministry documents from his residence during an income tax department raid.
He was arrested in London on July 15, 2020 on an extradition warrant.
Bhandari was reported to have business links with Robert Vadra, husband of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Robert Vadra had denied having links with Bhandari.

Source link