Income Tax Dept. tells Delhi HC that Nokia's guarantee Serves no purpose

Income Tax Dept. tells Delhi HC that Nokia's guarantee Serves no purpose On Friday, The Income Tax department moved the Delhi High Court seeking "directions/clarifications" of the December 12 order by which the assets of mobile phone handset maker Nokia in India were de-freezed.

The lifting of the freeze was allowed by the court last month, subject to a guarantee by Nokia Finland to pay up the tax amount if the company lost the case in the court.  The freeze was lifted to enable the completion of the global company's $7.3-billion deal with Microsoft.

NP Sahni, Senior Counsel, appearing on behalf of the department, said that the requisite information concerning the "situs" for deposit of R3,500 crore and its mode of realisation has not been specified by Nokia in its letter of guarantee.  He also mentioned that Nokia had not fixed the duration within which it will deposit the stipulated amount.

January 17 was fixed as the next date of hearing by the court.

The taxman in its application before the HC, pleaded that necessary directions should be issued for placing the amount of R3, 500 crore in an escrow account. In addition, it has asked the court to devise a mechanism for adjustment of refunds till the time the entire issue reaches finality.

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