New Delhi, Nov. 18: India’s “double tax avoidance” treaty with Mauritius today came back to haunt external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha.
The Supreme Court issued notices in the case to a social organisation Azadi Bachao which alleged that as finance minister two years ago, Sinha issued a circular through the Central Board of Direct Taxes, exempting Mauritius-registered companies from tax to favour his daughter-in-law, Puneet, who was working in one such entity.
A division bench of Justices Ruma Pal and B.N. Krishna, which issued the notices, also stayed a May 31 order of Delhi high court quashing the circular issued on April 13, 2000.
The apex court asked the social organisation and a former joint commissioner of income tax, S.K.Jha, who is also a petitioner, to reply to the notices within three weeks and fixed further hearings after eight weeks.
The allegation that Sinha had got the CBDT to issue the circular to help his daughter-in-law is not new and was denied when he was finance minister.