AAP attacks Sibal on Vodafone tax liability

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Wednesday attacked newly-appointed Law Minister Kapil Sibal for allegedly favouring UK telecom giant Vodafone by clearing the decks for resolving its tax dispute out of court.

“Within 24 hours of his (Kapil Sibal) assuming the charge of the law ministry, he reversed his predecessor’s decision (Ashwini Kumar) by allowing an out of court settlement of Vodafone’s tax liability worth Rs.11,217 crore,” AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal accused Sibal of having a vested interest in this decision since his son Amit Sibal is the counsel for Hutchinson Telecommunications International, which had sold its Indian telecom business to Vodafone in 2007.

“Why does Kapil Sibal want an out of court settlement with Vodafone? Why did he reverse the decision of Ashwini Kumar, who was against this move,” Kejriwal added.

Kapil Sibal, who took over as the law minister after his Ashwini Kumar was removed for alleged impropriety, Tuesday overturned Kumar’s decision on the Vodafone tax liability and gave the go ahead for the matter to be resolved through conciliation.

The tax liability arose from Hutchinson’s sale of their Indian telecom business to Vodafone in 2007, from which a capital gain of over 50,000 crore ensued.

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