HC hearing on Mallya’s service tax dues now on March 28

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Mumbai, March 11 (IANS) The Bombay High Court on Friday adjourned, to March 28, the Maharashtra service tax department’s pleas for recovery of dues worth crores of rupees from the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) and its founder Vijay Mallya.

The department had filed separate petitions in the high court on Wednesday for recovery of service tax dues from the KFA and Mallya, which came up for hearing before Justice C.V. Bhadang.

In one application, it challenged a magistrate’s order granting anticipatory bail to Mallya and others in its case for recovering around Rs.32.68 crore service tax collected from the airline passengers in 2010-2011, but not deposited with the government.

In the other plea, it sought directions to Mallya and other KFA directors to remain present before the magistrate court on April 6 and also in the high court in the current case.

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The court questioned the department for not properly serving notices on the KFA and others and directed them to comply before posting the matter for hearing on March 28.

Earlier, the department filed two cases in a Mumbai magistrate’s court against Mallya, claiming Rs.32.68 crore and Rs.23.38 crore in service tax dues for two different periods. While one case is currently being heard, the other is pending.

Overall, the department is claiming Rs.150 crore in service tax dues from Mallya.

The department apprehends that if Mallya was absent from the trial in India, it could cause grave prejudice to its cases.

The consortium of 13 banks that have several thousand of crore in unpaid loans to KFA has already been seeking legal remedies,

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The Enforcement Directorate has also filed a money laundering case against Mallya and summoned him for questioning here on March 18.

The service tax department sought freezing of Mallya’s passports and restricting his movements abroad as media reports have said his Rajya Sabha term expires on June 30 and he was planning to spend more time abroad.

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