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Vodafone ordered to pay $2.53 bn Indian tax bill

Operator gains time from Supreme Court for a hearing on November 15

Vodafone ordered to pay $2.53 bn Indian tax bill
Vodafone buys time for its $2.53 billion tax notice from Indian tax officials, for a hearing on November 15

The Supreme Court in India adjourned the hearing in the tax case against Vodafone to November 15 after the telco sought time to go through the $2.53 billion tax notice sent by the Indian tax authorities.

Earlier, the UK mobile operator was ordered by the Indian tax authorities to pay $2.53 billion relating to its $11 billion acquisition of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa's stake in a domestic mobile operator that it completed in 2007, according to a FT.com report. The Indian tax officials expected Vodafone to make the payment within 30 days from the receipt of the demand notice, the report added.

"Vodafone strongly disagrees with the tax calculation released by the Indian tax office," the group was quoted as saying.

India's Economic Times newspaper quoted Vittorio Colao, global chief executive of Vodafone, as saying that future investments in India would hinge on a positive outcome of the legal battle.

The Indian High Court ruled that the deal should have been subject to Indian capital gains tax because the operating assets of Hutchison Essar were in India. However, Vodafone appealed against the High Court's decision arguing that it should not be subject to Indian tax rules as the Hutchison Essar deal in 2007 took place outside India, in Cayman Islands.

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