NEW DELHI – The Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday a batch of petitions filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra against the transfer of their tax assessment from faceless assessment to the central circle.
The 9 Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) by AAP, Congress leaders, and five trusts linked with the Gandhis are listed for admission before the apex court.
The Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust, Jawahar Bhawan Trust, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, and Young Indian are the five trusts that have filed petitions against the transfer of tax assessment.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S.N.V. Bhatti will hear the petitions.
Earlier on May 26, the Delhi High Court had dismissed petitions by AAP, the Gandhi family, and the five trusts challenging the orders of the Income Tax Department to transfer their tax assessment from the faceless assessment to the central circle.
A High Court bench of Justices Manmohan and Dinesh Kumar Sharma ruled that there was no fundamental legal right to be assessed under the faceless assessment scheme.
The Gandhi family challenged transfer orders by the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, saying that only the rarest of cases go out of faceless assessment. The Gandhis primarily opposed treating their tax assessment along with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari’s group. Fugitive arms dealer Bhandari is facing several corruption and money laundering charges in India.
The AAP contended the transfer orders violated statutory provisions and called them “arbitrary”.
However, the HC bench said that the transfer orders were in accordance with the law and done for better coordination in the investigation. The faceless assessment scheme removes physical contact between the taxpayer and the taxman by using artificial intelligence and machine learning for randomly selecting tax cases and therefore reducing or eliminating human interface with the tax department. -IANS