NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a review petition in the Vodafone tax case, and, within hours, the government refunded `2,500 crore plus four per cent interest to the firm.
When asked, a Vodafone spokesman said “the money has been refunded—`2500 crore plus 4 % interest”.
Earlier, Law Minister Salman Khurshid told reporters the government would have to repay the money. “To curative petition to my knowledge ... I suppose government will have to refund Vodafone money,” he said after a meeting of top ministers called by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The curative petition is the last judicial remedy available with the government. The hurriedly called meeting was attended by Home Minister P Chidambaram, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal and Attorney General G E Vahanvati, among others.
The government, meanwhi­le, has proposed an amendment in the I-T Act whereby such overseas mergers would be taxed retrospectively from 1962. “You can only tax on the basis of existing law. We have no right to tax them, current law will prevail so long law is not changed,” Khurshid said.