A bench of the Gujarat High Court recused itself from hearing a petition filed by Essar Oil Ltd (EOL) seeking a direction that the state government should allow repayment in instalments and waive interest in relation to its sales tax deferment liability.
The division bench of Justice V M Sahai and Justice N V Anjaria said "not before us" after hearing the matter for an hour, citing no reasons.
In its petition filed in May, the company has sought waiver from payment of interest and penalty to the tune of around Rs 2000 crore with regard to its sales tax deferment liability to the Gujarat government.
It has also sought directions for the state government to allow the company to make repayment in the form of annual instalments from April 2013.
The state government had earlier rejected this proposal of the company.
The company had sought exemption from interest and penalty on the sales tax deferment liability on the grounds that the 'Capital Incentive to Premier and Prestigious Unit Scheme 1995-2000' of the state government, which it availed, did not have provisions for interest and penalty.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya, on May 11, 2012 had granted relief to the company by asking the state government not to take coercive steps to recover the sales tax deferral liability from the company till the matter was pending with it.
Earlier this year the Supreme Court had upheld the Gujarat government's appeal against Essar Oil's tax benefit claims.
Subsequently, state tax authorities had issued a demand notice to EOL for repayment of sales tax deferment benefits utilised by the company.
The state government had put the company's tax dues at Rs 8255.47 crore, which included interest and penalty.