In a major victory for telecom giant Vodafone, The International Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague today gave a ruling in the company's favour and against the Indian government over ₹ 20,000 crore in dues.
The international court described the amount as unfair, and ruled that the Indian government's imposition of tax liability on Vodafone is in violation of the investment treaty agreement between India and the Netherlands.
The ruling, therefore, asked the government to cease seeking the dues from Vodafone and instead pay over ₹ 40 crore to the company as partial compensation for its legal costs.
NDTV quoted Anuradha Dutt, managing partner of DMD Advocates, a New Delhi-based firm which argued for Vodafone as reacting, "Vodafone has finally got justice. The government of India came with a retrospective amendment trying to recover the tax which the Supreme Court had struck down… The tribunal has today said that this action is violative of the bilateral investment treaty."
Vodafone was expected to pay the amount following its acquisition of the Indian mobile assets from Hutchison Whampoa in 2007. However, the company had contested that. In April 2014, Vodafone initiated arbitration proceedings against India.