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SC to hear Sonia, Rahul’s plea in tax case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear appeals by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi along with party leader Oscar Fernandes challenging a Delhi High Court order directing re-opening of their income tax assessment for 2011-12 related to the National Herald case.

A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Abdul Nazeer fixed December 4 as the final date of hearing.

Justice Sikri said there were two options — one was to issue notice and allow the assessing officer to proceed with the re-opening or alternately to fix the matter after two to three weeks and decide it.

The court did not formally issue a notice to the income tax authorities as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that he was present in court.

Senior counsel P. Chidambaram, appearing for Sonia Gandhi, said the re-assessment ordered by the Delhi High Court would not be given effect to. To which, Justice Sikri said: “Now it will not.”

The Solicitor General said: “There is a difficulty, it may be time-barred.”

Sikri said that in that case the apex court stays the High Court judgment and that would take care of the issue of the time bar.

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