I-T dept issues demand notice of Rs 1,800 crore to Congress amidst LS poll preparations

News Network
March 29, 2024

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The Income Tax department has issued a notice of approximately Rs 1,800 crore to the Congress party, exacerbating its financial concerns ahead of the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections, multiple reports revealed on Friday.

The development comes after the Delhi High Court rejected the party's plea challenging reassessment proceedings for four assessment years.

The new demand pertains to assessment years 2017-18 to 2020-21 and includes penalties and interest. The Congress party now awaits reassessment for three other assessment years, expected to conclude by Sunday, the stipulated deadline, said a report.

Congress lawyer and RS MP Vivek Tankha alleged that the fresh notice of nearly Rs 1,800 crore was served on the party on Thursday without key accompanying documents.

"We received the demand notice without assessment orders. The govt appeared keener to serve us with demand rather than issue us reasons for reassessment," a news paper quoted Tankha as saying. He further added, "this is how the main opposition party is being strangled financially, and that too during the Lok Sabha elections".

Delhi HC rejects plea

The Delhi High Court, on Thursday, dismissed petitions filed by the Congress challenging the initiation of tax reassessment proceedings spanning four years by tax authorities. Justices Yashwant Varma and Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav, comprising the bench, stated that the pleas were rejected in line with their earlier decision to abstain from intervening in the reopening of reassessment for an additional year.

The subject matter of the case pertained to assessment years from 2017 to 2021.

In a previous petition dismissed the week before, the Congress party had contested the initiation of reassessment proceedings concerning assessment years 2014-15 to 2016-17.

The High Court dismissed the plea, citing that the tax authority had prima facie gathered "substantial and concrete" evidence warranting further scrutiny. The tax department alleged that approximately Rs 520 crore had evaded assessment during these three years.

Additionally, the department revealed that searches conducted on entities, including some purportedly linked to Karnataka deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar and a company in Surat, had uncovered cash transactions involving Congress. These transactions were cited as violations, disqualifying the party from tax exemption available to political parties.

In the absence of exemption, parties are treated as "association of persons" and are obligated to pay taxes on their reported income. Moreover, the cash transactions are included in their total income.

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News Network
April 9,2024

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The Delhi High Court rejected Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and remand order passed by the trial court in connection with the excise policy case. The court delivered the verdict in the excise policy case on Tuesday.

In its order, the high court said the petition challenged the arrest and said it was in violation of Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). "The court clarifies that the plea is not for bail but for declaring the arrest illegal," Bar and Bench reported while citing the court order.

The high court said the material collected by the ED “reveals Arvind Kejriwal conspired and was actively involved in use and concealment of proceeds of crime." 

“The ED case also reveals that he was involved in his personal capacity as well as convenor of AAP," the order said.

Kejriwal had earlier questioned the timing of the arrest that came just ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.  Reacting to this, the court said, “Petitioner has been arrested in money laundering case and court has to examine his arrest and remand as per law irrespective of timing of elections."

Reacting to Kejriwal's argument casting doubt on the statements of “approvers" in the excise policy case, the court said the statements of “Raghav Magunta and Sarath Reddy are approver statements which were recorded under the PMLA as well as Section 164 CrPC".

“To cast doubt on the manner of recording statement of approver would amount to casting aspersions on the court and judge," the order added. “The law of approver is over 100 years old and not one year old. It cannot be suggested that it was enacted to implicate the present petitioner (Kejriwal)," it added.

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News Network
April 13,2024

Mangaluru, Apr 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to campaign for the upcoming and much awaited Lok Sabha election in coastal Karnataka by holding a mega roadshow in Mangaluru. 

Meanwhile, the organisers have announced a slight delay in the commencement of Modi's scheduled roadshow on April 14 in Mangaluru.

Addressing the media BJP principal secretary and Karnataka MLA V Sunil Kumar said: Originally the roadshow was scheduled to begin at 5 pm., but it will start at 7:30 pm."

As planned, the Roadshow will kick off from Narayan Guru Circle, where Prime Minister Modi will pay floral tribute to Sri Narayan Guru idol. From there, the Roadshow will proceed and conclude at Navabharat Circle. 

Mr Kumar urged people traveling to Mangaluru to see Mr Modi's visit by 7 p.m. and stand behind the barricades. The roadshow is estimated to conclude at 8:30 pm.

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News Network
April 13,2024

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Mangaluru: After as the state health ministry issued guidelines to the public in view of a heatwave, the health department in Dakshina Kannada has advised people to be cautious about the impact of heatstroke, including heat rash, heat edema, heat cramps, heat tetany, heat syncope, and heat exhaustion.

Dakshina Kannada district nodal officer for climate change, Dr Naveenchandra Kulal, said that the impact of heat-related illness can also be found in the district, when there is a variation of about 4.5⁰C from the normal temperature.

Dr Kulal told media persons here on Friday, that the impact of heat-related illness is not confined to Raichur, Kalaburagi, and other North Karnataka districts.

“Those who reside inside tin sheet houses and closed environments are likely to suffer from heatstroke. People should hydrate themselves by drinking more water and avoid working under the direct Sun. Heat exhaust fans can be used. Though no heatstroke cases have been reported in the district, any negligence may cause heatstroke,” he said. 

DHO Dr Thimmaiah HR said that hotels and restaurants should supply boiled water, and they should clean the overhead tanks once every three months. The filter of drinking water units should be cleaned frequently, he said.

He also directed paying guest accommodations to supply fresh food to inmates.

“We have received complaints of many paying guest accommodations serving sambar cooked the previous day to inmates. Stale food should be avoided, as there are chances of food contamination. Plastics should be avoided while packing food in hotels. As per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines, the use of plastic to pack hot food is restricted,” the DHO said.

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