Wednesday, April 24, 2024

IT department ordered withdrawal of Rs 65 crore from party’s accounts ‘undemocratically,’ alleges Congress

The Congress alleged on Wednesday that the Income Tax Department ordered Rs 65 crore to be withdrawn from its bank accounts “undemocratically” even though proceedings are underway before an appellate authority.

The Income Tax department ordered banks to transfer Rs 60.25 crore from the Congress’ bank accounts and Rs 5 crore from the accounts of the Indian Youth Congress and National Students’ Union of India to the government, the Congress alleged.

“The Income Tax department had written to various banks to withdraw a sum of Rs 65 crore from different bank accounts of the Congress and Indian Youth Congress in view of the demand raised by the Income Tax authorities earlier, despite the appellate authorities hearing the case,” said Congress treasurer Ajay Maken.

Maken said that “democracy will be over if the action of probe agencies goes unchecked”, but added that his party has full faith in the judiciary.

The case pertains to an Income Tax demand of Rs 210 crore for the financial year 2018-’19.

The Congress alleged that the tax department’s action weeks before the Lok Sabha election were an instance of “vendetta politics” and amounted to an assault on democracy.

Five days ago, the grand old party announced that its bank accounts had been frozen on “flimsy grounds” and that the action had hampered all the party’s political activities. Later in the day, the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal allowed the Congress to operate its bank accounts but ordered it to maintain Rs 115 crore as lien, effectively freezing these funds.

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