Once again Supreme Court slapped government on Tuesday by dismissing its petition to review of Court’s verdict in the Vodafone-Hutch tax case.
Last month, tax authorities had filed review plea in Court to consider its judgment that had ruled in favour of Vodafone in January in tax case of $11 billion deal to buy Hutchison Whampoa Ltd’s Indian mobile business.
In its application, the government wrote that SC ruling had error in its findings of Vodafone’s offshore transaction, providing company a 67% stake in Hutch-Essar was bona fide structured FDI in India that the effect of legitimising transactions through the tax havens.
But after considered, the apex court directed that Tax authorities does not have jurisdiction to levy Rs 11,000 crore as tax on the overseas deal between Vodafone International Holdings and Hutchison Group.
Because the offshore transactions were made outside India by VIH, a British Virgin Island company, to Hutchison telecommunications International (Cayman) Holdings Ltd, a Cayman Island company.
“We hold that the Offshore Transaction herein is a bona fide structured FDI investment into India which fell outside India’s territorial tax jurisdiction, hence not taxable. The said Offshore Transaction evidences participative investment and not a sham or tax avoidant preordained transaction,” a bench of justice reportedly said.
In addition, refunding of Rs 2,500 crore deposited by Vodafone has asked authorities to make within two months along with four per cent interest from the date of withdrawal of money by the tax department.
As like Vodafone’s argument “Indian authorities had no right to tax the transaction between two foreign entities”, the apex court directed its judgment. That gave victory to Vodafone over a five-year legal battle against the authorities on a $2.2 billion tax demand over the British mobile phone giant’s acquisition of Indian mobile assets in 2007.