High Court defers Service Tax Dept plea against Mallya to Mar 28

Friday, Mar 11, 2016,16:50 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Mumbai | The Bombay High Court today deferred till March 28 hearing on two applications filed by Service Tax Department for recovery of over Rs.32 crore from Kingfisher Airlines and its chief Vijay Mallya.

One application challenged a magistrate’s order granting anticipatory bail to Mallya and others in a case filed by the Department against them for recovery of Rs 32.68 crore Service Tax collected by the airline from passengers during 2010-11, but not deposited in the government treasury.

The other application sought a direction to Mallya and other directors to appear before the trial court on April 6 for the next hearing, and also in the high court in this case. Justice C V Bhadang today asked the Service Tax Department to serve copies of the two applications to the airline, Mallya and others before March 28.

It would be travesty of justice if Mallya leaves the country and does not return to pay the dues in the form of Service Tax, admittedly, collected from the passengers, the Department earlier submitted in the application. It pleaded that since statutory dues were not paid to the government, the petition against Mallya should be heard as expeditiously as possible.

The department had filed two cases in a magistrate’s court in Mumbai for recovery of dues. In one case pertaining to recovery of Rs 32.68 crore as Service Tax, the lower court had granted anticipatory bail to Mallya last year, on the ground that the offences were bailable.

The aggrieved department challenged the order in the Bombay High Court last year, contending that the offences were non-bailable. It urged for quashing and setting aside the impugned order of the magistrate.

This petition (appeal) is pending in the high court since 2015. Meanwhile, the department filed another application seeking presence of Mallya in the trial court and high court, and also urging it to impound his passport and restrict his movements abroad. This application is currently being pressed for expeditious hearing.

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