The Supreme Court on Monday declined to give relief to Vodafone and empowered the income tax authorities to determine the company’s liability that arose following its takeover of Hutchison Essar Ltd.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia issued notice to the government on Vodafone’s petition challenging the Bombay High Court order that allowed the department to tax the company’s $ 11-billion deal with Hutch.
The bench refused to stay the HC order that had permitted the department to raise the demand, telling Vodafone’s lawyer Harish Salve that the firm must pay up 50 per cent of the R12,000 crore demanded in 2007 to get a stay. “You have to pay part of the amount. The choice is yours," the bench said.
SC gave the tax authorities four weeks to compute the liability and set further hearing on October 25. However, it gave liberty to Vodafone to move the court in case it was aggrieved by the amount computed.
Attorney-General G E Vahanvati, appearing for the government, said the department strongly opposed Vodafone’s stay plea.