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Supreme Court dismisses petition in Vodafone case


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a petition by advocate M.L. Sharma as “irresponsible and scandalous” that alleged conflict of interest over the court’s verdict in the Rs.11,218 crore ($2.2 billion) tax dispute case of telecom firm Vodafone.

Last month Sharma had alleged in a petition that Chief Justice S. H. Kapadia had not disclosed that his son Hoshnar Kapadia worked with Ernst and Young, a consultant firm that had tendered advice to Vodafone on taxation issues.

Sharma filed the petition after Indian tax authorities filed a review petition in the case.

The case involved a levy on a 2007 transaction in which Vodafone Plc had paid $11.2 billion to Hong Kong-based Hutchison for acquiring a 67 percent stake in Indian telecom services major Hutch Essar.

In January, the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of Vodafone saying that Indian officials did not have jurisdiction over a deal between two global companies even if assets involved in that deal were located in India.

A bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar Jan 20 set aside a Bombay High Court order that upheld the tax demand by income tax authorities on account of the said acquisition.

An apex court bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam, while dismissing the petition by Sharma imposed a cost of Rs.50,000 on him for filing “frivolous” and “scandalous” petition.

Justice Alam also questioned the bonafide of the petitioner.