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Vodafone files Bombay writ against tax decision, despite SC ongoing deliberation

Vodafone has filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court challenging an apparent decision by the tax office to treat the company as the agent of the seller in the 2007 Hutchison acquisition, despite the Supreme Court still having to reach a decision on Vodafone’s appeal against the earlier ruling.

Vodafone has issued a press statement that said that the tax office had initiated a "different process" to treat Vodafone as an agent of the seller in an "unusual development”, reported Reuters today.

"Vodafone contends that the key issue of jurisdiction (as to whether the Indian tax office can tax the transfer of a foreign company’s shares between two non-residents) is currently under appeal to the Supreme Court of India," said the statement. "Hence any action which seeks to treat Vodafone as an 'agent' of Hutchison is misguided and premature.”

Vodafone has appealed to the Supreme Court to challenge the September Bombay High Court ruling that the income tax authorities were correct in charging Vodafone tax for the acquisition of Hutchison, with a bill that could potentially run to $2bn.

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