Chairman Risto Siilasmaa met Commerce Minister Anand Sharma for a discussion over the issue
Finnish handset maker Nokia has moved the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court ruling that changed the conditions that the company would have to follow in order to ensure a smooth transfer of its assets in the country to Microsoft.
Nokia India, which is currently caught in a Rs. 21,000-crore tax dispute, needs to transfer its India assets to software giant Microsoft as part of the impending acquisition. The Delhi High Court had, last week, asked Nokia to give a ‘simple undertaking’ in addition to depositing Rs. 2,250 crore in an escrow account.
This new condition would result in Nokia agreeing to an open-ended guarantee that the company would meet any future tax claims relating to the dispute.
“The court has proposed additional conditions which cannot be met. The court is requesting us to do is to give a simple undertaking which would obligate us to respond to any claims that the tax authorities have before we exhaust legal remedies. We cannot do that – especially in a situation when the actions of the tax authorities have been arbitrary in the past year,” a senior Nokia executive said. Nokia’s board Chairman Risto Siilasmaa is also in New Delhi currently. He met with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma to discuss the possibility of a quick resolution.
According to company officials, under the new terms of the Delhi High Court, Nokia would be unable to transfer its assets.“We’ve filed an appeal to enable the transfer to happen.We feel our offer, to place around Rs. 2,250 crore in escrow and committing to an additional capped undertaking for Nokia India’s final liabilities was fair, and we will now argue that case to the Supreme Court,” the executive said.