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The Supreme Court (SC) will on December 4 hear an appeal by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother and AICC chairperson Sonia Gandhi challenging the Delhi High Court order refusing to give them relief in a case of re-opening of their tax assessments for 2011-12.

Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, too, has challenged the September 10 verdict of the high court along with the Gandhis.

The Income Tax matter against the Congress leaders is linked to the National Herald case in which they are also facing a criminal case, reports PTI.

The high court had refused to give them relief in the case, giving the opportunity to the Income Tax (I-T) Department to scrutinise their records.

Since the Income Tax department was represented by its counsel, the apex court did not issue any notice on their petitions.

The Income Tax department had filed a caveat in the apex court that it should be heard in case any appeal is filed against the high court order. A caveat is a legal procedure by which an application is filed by any party to the litigation to pre-empt an ex-parte order.

After a brief hearing, a bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and SA Abdul Nazeer said, “Since respondent (Income Tax department) has put in appearance, we are not issuing a formal notice. However, we are fixing the matter for final arguments on December 4.”

Senior advocates P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar appeared for the Congress leaders.

The income tax probe against the Congress leaders has arisen from the investigation into the private criminal complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy before a trial court in connection with the National Herald case, in which the trio are out on bail.

Sonia and Rahul were granted bail in the case by the trial court on December 19, 2015. In the complaint before the trial court, Sonia, Rahul and others have been accused of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh, through which Young Indian (YI), the not-for-profit organisation, had obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) owed to the Congress party.

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