The Supreme Court on Tuesday, fixed December 4 to hear the Special Leave Petition filed by Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Mr Rahul Gandhi and Mr Oscar Fernandes to challenge the dismissal by the Delhi High Court of their plea challenging the re-opening of their Income Tax assessment for the year 2010-11.

The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Abdul Nazeer also accepted the oral assurance of the Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta that the re-assessment would not proceed till the Supreme Court finally hears the arguments.

The Bench, after hearing senior advocate P Chidambaram observed that in its view the petition ‘deserved consideration’ and offered to either stay the assessment and serve notice to the Income Tax Department or fix a short date for final hearing.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pleaded for the final hearing and pleaded that the assessment would get time barred at the end of December. 

The court renewed its option to stay the assessment and serve notice to the department, in which case the time would get automatically extended.

However, the Solicitor Genera expressed his preference for a final hearing to which the court acceded. 

Asked by Mr Chidambaram and Mr Sibal whether the assessment in the meanwhile would remain in abeyance, the court said that no assessment proceeding would go forward while the Supreme Court is deciding this matter and the Solicitor General gave his oral assurance.