The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted marginal relief to Vodafone Idea as it directed the Income Tax department to refund Rs 733 crore out of the total amount of Rs 4,700 crore demanded by the company. While dismissing Vodafone Idea's appeal for refunding its full claim, the Supreme Court ordered the Income Tax department to refund the amount within four weeks.
"Insofar as AY 2014-15 is concerned, final assessment order passed under Section 143(3) of the (Income Tax) Act indicates that the appellant (telecom firm) is entitled to refund of Rs 733 crores; while for AY 2015-16 there is a demand of Rs.582 crores," a bench comprising Justices U U Lalit and Vineet Saran said in the judgement.
The bench also directed the Tax department to conclude as early as possible the proceedings relating to the telecom company's refund demand and scrutiny of income by the I-T department with respect to assessment years 2016-17 and 2017-18.
"Except for the directions as indicated..., we see no merit in any of the contentions advanced by the appellant (Vodafone). This appeal is, therefore, dismissed without any order as to costs," the judgement said.
Vodafone Idea had claimed that the Income Tax department did not process their tax returns from 2014-15 to 2017-18. Vodafone Idea had argued that the tax department sought 12 adjournments since the case came to the Supreme Court in January 2019.
The telecom company had earlier moved the Delhi High Court alleging that there was complete inaction on the part of I-T department in processing its income tax returns and in issuing appropriate refunds. The Delhi High Court dismissed the petition on on December 14, 2018.