SC pulls up I-T dept for vague 2G details

A vacation Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said there were “absolutely vague” details in department’s status report filed in the court. “Had the court not intervened you would have continued to sleep,” the Bench resented.

Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tankha, who appeared for the department, told the court that notices have been sent to the tax evading foreign companies having their permanent offices. “Your statement is absolutely vague. What are the dates (of notices)? Give us details. These are all foreign tax evaders,” the Bench said.

The counsel, however, submitted that the department had found them as “taxable entity” in India and had sent them notices informing them about the same. Tankha said the delay in the matter was due to the fact that these were big companies. “How are they big? What kind of mindset do you have? Prima facie, they all are tax evaders. Do not call them big. Do not insult the word,” the court said.

He also referred to a particular company without naming it as having its base in Mauritius and that had been identified for tax evasion.

Meanwhile, the court directed the I-T department to share details with the CBI and ED and complete its probe within a time limit. During the hearing, the department said that it was taking cue from the Vodafone case, in which the apex court directed it to pay Rs 2,500 crore as part payment while rejecting the claim for exemption of the UK-based telecom giant.

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