New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed UK-based telecom major Vodafone to appear before the Income Tax Department which had instructed the company to pay penalty in the $2 billion tax case relating to the telecom major’s stake purchase in Hutchison-Essar.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S.H Kapadia asked the company to file its representation before the I-T department.
“We direct the company to file its representation before the official concerned in this case. ..the officials would proceed in the matter,” the court said.
Meanwhile, the court also made it clear that if the I-T Department passes any order for penalty, it would not be enforced till Supreme Court’s further order as the main matter of tax dispute is still pending in the apex court.
“No steps would be taken to enforce a penalty if imposed on the petitioner,” the court said.
During the proceedings, the Supreme Court told telecom major Vodafone that tax penalty is at an initial stage because only notices have been issued till now by the I-T Department to the company.
“They (I-T Department) are asking you (Vodafone) to appear only. You go and appear and put your representation there. Let them pass order,” the bench said.
Earlier, the I-T department had issued notice to Vodafone in March saying penal action would be initiated against the British telecom major in the tax case.