NewsClick Withdraws Plea From SC Against Income Tax Notices, Will Approach ITAT

Digital news portal NewsClick on Monday withdrew its petition before the Supreme Court challenging two income tax assessment notices against it. The news portal will now move to the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) for appropriate relief. 

NewsClick withdrew the case from the top court stating that since the Income Tax department had passed final order with regard to the said notices, it will move to the tribunal for relief.

A bench comprising Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Augustine George Masih allowed NewsClick to withdraw its petition noting that the ITAT will proceed to hearing the matter including applications for early hearing and interim relief.

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The portal requested the court for withdrawal, saying that the Income Tax department has already passed orders in the case and they want to approach the tribunal for further hearing.

In November, the news portal moved the top court against the Delhi High Court order that rejected its petition challenging the tax assessment notices issued on November 3 and February 30 in 2023.

The High Court had rejected the petition observing that the news portal has many questions to answer around its financial dealings. The court also said that there was no prima facie case in favour of NewsClick.

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Following this, the new portal filed a special leave petition in the apex court against the high court order.

In January, the top court had asked the Commissioner of the Central Income Tax Circle to file a response in the matter.

On February 17 a Delhi court extended judicial custody of NewsClick founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha and Human Resources head Amit Chakravarty, in a case lodged under the provisions of the UAPA over allegations that the media outlet received money to spread pro-China propaganda.

The news portal courted trouble after raids were conducted in October 2023 across 88 locations in Delhi and seven in other states. In the raid, around 300 electronic gadgets were also seized from the offices of NewsClick and the residences of the journalists who were examined.