Vodafone case: PIL in SC against arbitration

Bishwajit Bhattacharyya, a senior advocate who was ASG in the UPA regime, mentioned his petition before a vacation bench led by Justice Vikramajit Sen, which posted the case for hearing on July 1.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: June 27, 2014 12:41 am

A former Additional Solicitor General moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday to restrain the government from going ahead with arbitration over recovery of around Rs 20,000 crore tax dues from UK telecom major Vodafone. The plea sought a directive that the government must be asked to recover the money imminently.

Bishwajit Bhattacharyya, a senior advocate who was ASG in the UPA regime, mentioned his petition before a vacation bench led by Justice Vikramajit Sen, which posted the case for hearing on July 1.

Bhattacharyya said the Centre was not implementing the rule which was amended in 2012 to claim taxes, asking the court to intervene in the matter by directing the Centre to administer the Income Tax Act “impartially, even-handedly and without fear or favour”.

“It amounts to arbitrariness of state action not to enforce law (Section 9 of IT Act) for 27 months after its enactment. This violates Article 14 of the Constitution,” the petition said, adding, “Allowing arbitration proceedings under India-Netherlands BIPA (Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement) would flagrantly violate rule of law.”

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