New Delhi, Dec 10: In a sharp dig at Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said India has never accepted that the 'queen' is not answerable to the law and asked her and Rahul Gandhi to contest the issue in courts instead of disrupting Parliament.
Rejecting the Congress charge of political vendetta being pursued by the government, he said the Government has "so far not taken any punitive action".
Posting his comments on Facebook, Jaitley was apparently referring to the Congress plea against summons issued to Sonia, her son Rahul Gandhi and others, which was dismissed by Delhi High Court. The Congress later changed tact and submitted to the trial court that they were ready to appear.
Without naming Sonia or Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley said the Congress leaders created a 'Chakravyuh' for themselves through a series of financial transactions where tax-exempt income of a political party was transfered to a real estate company.
"The Enforcement Directorate has not issued any notice to them. The Income Tax authorities will follow their own procedure... The Government has passed no order in relation to the disputed transactions," he said. Detailing the issues involved, he said a Criminal Court had taken cognisance of the offence and the High Court agreed with the Trial Court. "The battle has to be fought legally. But the results of legal battles are always uncertain.
The Congress is, therefore, crying foul and calling it political vendetta," he said asking if the charge was against the courts. The minister said there was equality before the law for everyone. "No one is above the law. India has never accepted the diktat that the queen is not answerable to the law.
Why should the Congress Party and its leaders not contest the notice before the Court? "The Government cannot help them in the matter, nor can the Parliament. Why then disturb the Parliament and prevent the legislative activity from continuing?," he said. Jaitley said the answer to the Congress leadership landing up in a 'Chakravyuh' is to fight their battle legally and not disrupt Parliament.
"By disrupting democracy the financial web created by the Congress leaders cannot be undone," he said. Congress has for three days in a row stalled functioning of the Rajya Sabha, where the crucial Goods and Service Tax (GST) is awaiting approval for rolling out the landmark indirect tax regime from April 1, 2016.