Govt. non-appeal in Voda share valuation case – Ushering in a non-adversarial regime?

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By most media accounts, the Attorney General of India (AG) - Mukul Rohatgi, has advised the Government against appealing in Supreme Court, the Bombay HC judgment on the multi-billion dollar share valuation issue. If the Government indeed does accept the AG's opinion, it could truly be a defining moment and one of those rare occasions where the Revenue has raised the 'white' flag in a high profile, hotly contested tax dispute.
 
Is the government & CBDT finally following through on its promise of ushering in a non-adversarial regime? Will this bring a thaw in the often frosty relationship between the taxpayer and tax department? Is this a signal to MNCs that 'tax terrorism' will soon be a thing of the past? And could the non-filing of SLP in this case be a precedent for other cases as well? 


Comments


Gautam Doshi
Group MD, Reliance ADAG

The apparent approach of the Government of accepting as correct the decision of the Bombay High Court in the Voda Share Valuation case is indeed most heartening. As per newspaper reports the concerned Chief Commissioner and the CBDT have already advised against filing of appeal to the Supreme Court. It is a clear signal that the Government is ready to accept that its officers may have made mistakes or may have taken unjustifiably aggressive views in their quest for revenue. More important, it is a signal that senior officers of the Government have the courage to and are willing to support, an apparently, correct legal position, even if it means giving up huge revenue demands. I am sure that a responsible CAG is not going to doubt the bona fides of those who take such bold decisions. This change of mindset can lead to progressive cooperation between the Government and business and industry. This, in turn, can help achieve fast and significant development which all of India is aspiring for.