Cell phone maker Nokia India Pvt. Ltd. has filed petitions in the Madras High Court, challenging the orders of the Commercial Taxes authorities imposing a huge tax demand totalling about Rs.2,300 crore for three assessment years from 2009-10.
In a petition relating to the Assessment Year 2009-10, the company submitted that the department had passed an assessment order against the company, imposing a tax demand of Rs.421.86 crores in an ‘arbitrary and prejudiced manner’ without affording an opportunity of personal hearing to the petitioner. This was in complete disregard of the principles of natural justice. The ‘illegal’ tax demand was evidenced by the fact that out of the total demand of Rs.421.86 crore, Rs.421.34 crore constituted the demand confirmed on the export turnover, in gross violation of the Central Sales Tax Act and the Tamil Nadu Value Added Tax Act as per which tax was not attracted on goods exported outside the country.
The petitioner prayed the court to call for the records comprised in the impugned orders and all proceedings pursuant to them and quash the same as unconstitutional. In the alternative, it sought a direction to the Joint Commissioner (Appeals) to hear and decide the appeal filed by the company without insisting on the condition of pre-deposit of any part of the demand confirmed by the Deputy Commissioner (CT), Chennai, or furnishing any security. Petitions had been filed for the other two assessment years also.