The Bombay High Court on Monday said that businessman Vijay Mallya who relocated to the UK six months ago could not have come up with a better name for his company than ‘Kingfisher’, for just like the bird he had flown away, unfettered by boundaries.
A bench headed by Justice SC Dharmadhikari was hearing a plea filed by the service tax department challenging a 2014 decision of the Debt Recovery Tribunal that had waived dues worth Rs 18 crore of Kingfisher Airlines. The appeal was admitted and the court will decide whether the tribunal had powers to waive the same.
Meanwhile, in a related matter, the same bench also granted six days to the service tax department to work out the details of selling or disposing of Mallya’s personal jet that was attached by the department earlier this year. The directions came after the service tax department filed a plea seeking that the high court’s August 22 order approving the auction of the aircraft be stayed.
The bench, however, refused to pass any such order saying that it will not tolerate such sudden change of heart by the department.
“We want to make it clear that the authorities must take a decision now for we will not allow that aircraft to remain stationed at the domestic airport indefinitely. For some time now, the department has been indulging in a flip-flop and this is very risky. Sometimes the department shows enthusiasm and sometimes there’s complete lack of it,” the bench said. At this, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh sought extra time submitting that both the Union Government and the service tax department were committed to selling the Airbus and only needed to work out some modalities.