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I-T has withdrawn Rs 65 cr from our bank accounts, claims Cong

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: February 21, 2024 18:35 IST
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The Congress on Wednesday alleged that the Income Tax department has "withdrawn" a sum of Rs 65 crore from its accounts in different banks "undemocratically" even when the case pertaining to their return for previous years is sub judice.

IMAGE: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi being felicitated during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Amethi. Photograph: ANI Photo

Party treasurer Ajay Maken has claimed that "democracy will be over in the country if the action of probe agencies goes unchecked" and said the Congress has full faith in the judiciary.

"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," Maken told PTI.

He said even when the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, which the Congress had moved against the Income Tax department's claim of Rs 210 crore as recovery for "discrepancies" in previous tax returns has been stayed and a lien has been marked, the tax authorities have resorted to "undemocratic action" by taking out the amount from their accounts.


He said the banks have been directed by the tax authorities to take out the money in the form of demand drafts in favour of the Income Tax department.

The Congress leader said the party had written to its bankers not to withdraw any amount as the case was sub judice and hearing in the case before the I-T Tribunal was still on.

"Yesterday (Tuesday), the Income Tax department mandated banks to transfer over Rs 65 crores from Congress, IYC (Indian Youth Congress) and NSUI (National Students Union of India) accounts to the government -- Rs 5 crore from IYC and NSUI and Rs 60.25 crore from INC, marking a concerning move by the BJP government," Maken said in a post on X.

"Is it common for national political parties to pay Income Tax? No. Does the BJP pay Income Tax? No. Why then is the Congress Party facing an unprecedented demand of Rs 210 crore," he asked.

"During today's ITAT proceedings, we presented our case. The hearing is set to continue tomorrow. The funds in question were raised through grassroots efforts, including crowd funding and membership drives by the IYC and NSUI," the Congress leader said.

"This situation raises a crucial question about the state of democracy. Is it under threat? Our hope now lies with the judiciary. #Democracy #Judiciary," he said in the post.

Giving further details, he said while Rs 60.25 crore has been taken out in the form of demand drafts from Congress' three bank accounts, a sum of Rs 5 crore has been withdrawn from the accounts of Indian Youth Congress.

He said while the sum of Rs 17.65 crore has been taken from the Bank of Baroda, K G Marg, Connaught Place branch; Rs 41.85 crore from Union Bank of India, Connaught Place branch; and another Rs 74.62 lakh from the Punjab National Bank account of the Congress party, totalling Rs 60.25 crore.

"Alarming Update: Concerns rise over the actions of Central Government agencies, potentially threatening the multi-party system in India. If unchecked, democracy in India will be over.

"Without intervention of judiciary, our democratic principles will be endangered," Maken said in a post on X.

In another post in Hindi, he said, "Since yesterday evening, Congress has been a victim of the anti-democratic attitude of the government machinery.

"We have full faith in the judicial system of India," he said, adding that he would share more information on the issue soon.

The Income Tax authorities heard the matter on Wednesday and the hearing will continue on Thursday.

The Congress' main bank accounts were frozen on Friday over an Income Tax demand of Rs 210 crore but an I-T appellate tribunal later allowed it to operate them pending a further hearing next week, a huge relief for the party which said the move had impacted all political activity.

Maken, who had earlier addressed a press conference to announce that Income Tax authorities had frozen its accounts, said the tribunal has put a lien of Rs 115 crore on its accounts and the party has been allowed to spend over and above that.

Party leader Vivek Tankha, who appeared before the tribunal against the order, earlier said he told the tribunal that the Congress would not be able to participate in the "festival of elections" if its accounts remain frozen.

Several party leaders, including party president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi, expressed their outrage and alleged that the government's move was an attack on democracy.

Maken said democracy was in danger in the country and detailed the tribunal's order.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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