MELBOURNE: An Indian-origin billionaire couple in Australia has been ordered to pay 1.2 million dollars to the federal court as security to cover costs of their legal battle against tax bills.
Fallen fertiliser mogul Pankaj and his wife Radhika Oswal have been involved in a legal battle with the tax office over a taxation assessment from February 2011.
Their appeal against the assessment relates to a capital gains tax event, linked to shares Oswal held in Burrup Holdings Pty Ltd in the 2007 financial year.
The defence team for Oswal's argued the 1.2 million dollars security payment was unnecessary as the couple's assets in Australia exceed their tax debt.
However, the Federal Court Judge John Nicholas rejected that andsaid because of mortgages and other factors, it was difficult to ascertain the value of their Australian assets, ABC News reported.
Nicholas ordered that the 1.2 million dollar payment be provided in a bank cheque or guarantee within 28 days as security for the Australian Taxation Office's costs.
Oswal was owning a fortune of more than 1 billion dollar through the fertiliser empire, which was built on producing the fertiliser ingredient ammonia in a factory in Western Australia's Pilbara region.
The empire collapsed in 2010 and the couple moved to Dubai.
The couple now stands accused of stripping hundreds of millions of dollars out of Burrup for personal use. The taxation office also claimed that Radikha owed 186 million dollar from an unpaid tax.