The government has slapped a tax notice of Rs 1,450 crore (Rs 14.50 billion) on the computer-maker Hewlett Packard India for allegedly evading Customs duty, a charge which was refuted by the company.
"The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has slapped a demand of Rs 1,450 crore on HP India Sales Pvt Ltd...The company undervalued components and spare parts imported from countries like Singapore and the US and thus evaded Customs duty," an official said.
The tax demand, one of the biggest in recent times, pertains to duty evasion for the past five years and was raised after an investigation initiated in September 2008 by offices of Directorate in Delhi and Bangalore.
When contacted, an HP India spokesperson said, "HP India has been transparent and has cooperated fully with the DRI in its investigation. HP India refutes the DRIs position and will challenge its claims through the judicial process."
The company has voluntarily paid Rs 79 crore (Rs 790 million) after the investigation, the sources said, adding Rs 35 was paid in the first week of the investigation itself.
The DRI has conducted investigation in HP offices of Delhi, Bangalore, Gurgaon and Mumbai and senior officers of the company have also been interrogated, including finance director.