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Vodafone tax case: Arvind Kejriwal attacks Kapil Sibal

May 15, 2013 02:42 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convener Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday attacked Law Minister Kapil Sibal over Vodafone tax case and said all the corrupt ministers have joined the Group of Ministers on CBI autonomy.

"Kapil Sibal says he will sort out the tax liability on Vodafone and Hutchinson in an outside court settlement. We have learnt that Kapil Sibal's son is Hutchinson's lawyer," added Kejriwal. While addressing a press conference, Kejriwal asked, "The question arises whether a portion of Rs 2,000 crore has gone to Sibal."

Meanwhile, Prashant Bhushan noted that Hutchinson was bought by Vodafone in 2007 and most of it was done on capital gains. Vodafone is facing the tax liability of over Rs 11,217 crore for purchase of Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Whampoa's stake in Indian telecom business Hutchison Essar in 2007.

The government sources have denied the allegation and claimed that Sibal's son represented Vodafone between 2007 and 2009 while the Vodafone tax issue came up in 2012. The government sources also say Sibal's son never took up any telecom issue after Sibal took over as Telecom Minister. The Vodafone Tax dispute is likely to come up for Cabinet approval next week.

The tax liability arose due to amending of the Income Tax Act, 1961 with retrospective effect during the tenure of the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to undo the Supreme Court judgement that was ruled in favour of Vodafone.

The Vodafone dispute was seen as having a discouraging impact on foreign investors' sentiments. While taking over as Law Minister, Sibal had earlier said that he would work to ensure that "legal processes and procedures should not be an impediment to economic growth, but must fuel it."

With Additional Information from PTI