Nokia’s guarantee serves no purpose: I-T department

NokiaThe guarantee given by Nokia Finland for lifting the freeze on its Indian assets doesn't serve any purpose, the Income Tax (I-T) department told the Delhi High Court on Friday.

Last month, the Delhi High Court had asked the I-T department to lift the Nokia India's Chennai-based manufacturing facility, subject to a guarantee by the company to pay up the tax amount in case it lost the case in the court.
The freeze was lifted to enable the handset maker to complete its $7.3-billion deal with Microsoft.

But, the I-T department on Friday said the guarantee given by Nokia did not serve any purpose because it did not state specific information under different subheads which was required for lifting the freeze.

Appearing on behalf of the I-T department, Senior Counsel NP Sahni said that Nokia's letter of guarantee did not mention requisite information concerning the "situs" for deposit of Rs 3,500 crore and its method of realization.

The tax department's counsel sought "directions/clarifications" on the high court's December 12 order.

In a plea to the high court, the counsel said, "The IT department also very humbly seeks directions/clarification for payment of the said amount of Rs 3,500 crore as and when the demand is raised and is due for payment."

A bench, headed by Justice S Ravindra Bhat, posted the plea of the I-T department for January 17 next hearing.