Shanti and Prashant Bhushan, the father-son lawyer duo from Team Anna, have publicly contradicted each other on the apex court judgment in the Vodafone tax case, delivered by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SH Kapadia.
Former law minister Shanti Bhushan on Monday strongly supported the judgment delivered by a three-judge bench headed by CJI Kapadia, rubbishing conflict of interest allegations against the judge. He rejected the argument of his son, Prashant Bhushan, who had criticised the Supreme Court (SC) verdict — terming it "pro-corporate".
The country's apex court had, on January 20, quashed a Bombay High Court order that directed Vodafone to pay around Rs 11,000 crore as tax to the Income Tax department. It had also directed that all the paid tax be refunded. The government filed a review petition before the SC in February.
Criticising the judgment, Prashant Bhushan had said, "In this case, the SC has again made a wrong call on tax avoidance, setting a precedent that jeopardises thousands of crores... for the exchequer."
He said the "courts must send a clear signal that India is not a banana republic, where foreign companies can be invited to loot our resources, and even avoid paying taxes on their windfall gains".
Shanti Bhushan, however, termed his son's arguments as "fallacious", and lacking support of law. He also slammed statements that CJI Kapadia shouldn’t have heard the case because his son was linked to an accountancy firm that audited Vodafone's accounts.
"In my opinion, there could not be a more atrocious suggestion. No reasonable person could have concluded that Justice Kapadia would not have heard the case dispassionately," he said.