Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Apex Court Stays Delhi High Court Order That Found MakeMyTrip Official’s Arrest Illegal

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a Delhi High Court order that curtailed powers of the service tax department to arrest individuals under investigation. The high court, in an earlier order, had held illegal the arrest of an official of online travel firm MakeMyTrip on alleged service tax evasion.
The apex court, however, issued notices to all the three companies allegedly involved in the tax evasion case – MakeMyTrip, Ibibo, and eBiz.com. The court was acting on a plea by the Centre challenging the Delhi High Court ruling.
The Justice Dipak Misra-led bench directed the tax department to continue with its investigation process but ordered it to not take “any coercive steps against the three companies” pending a final decision by the court.
The Attorney General of India, arguing on behalf of the service tax department on Tuesday, said that the Delhi High Court judgment will restrain various tax department divisions like excise, customs, and service tax from taking “appropriate action under law against individuals being investigated”.
MakeMyTrip’s counsel urged the court to not stay the high court judgment by claiming that arrests made by the department were done without due diligence. “You cannot put a gun on my head and ask me for money. Money was extracted from officials through coercion,” argued Senior Advocate P Chidambaram on behalf of the company.

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