IT dept freezes Cong’s accounts, appellate tribunal de-freezes later

The Congress on Friday said Income Tax authorities had frozen its main bank accounts, impacting all political activity. However, the accounts were later de-frozen by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal pending a further hearing next week.

Party leader Vivek Tankha, who appeared before the tribunal against the order, said the party was now allowed to operate its bank accounts. The tribunal will hear the matter next Wednesday before a final decision is taken on the matter.

Tankha said he told the tribunal that the Congress would not be able to participate in the “festival of elections” in case its accounts remain frozen.

Earlier in the day, treasurer Ajay Maken said the Income Tax department had frozen the Congress’ main bank accounts on “flimsy grounds” and this affected all political activity of the party barely two weeks before general elections are announced.

The accounts, including that of the Indian Youth Congress, were frozen on an Income Tax demand of Rs 210 crore for 2018-19, an election year, Maken said at a press conference.

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