Hewlett-Packard India gets stay order in $386 mn alleged duty evasion case

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 13 2013, 23:41pm hrs
Hewlett-Packard (HP) India unit has won a stay against customs department order asking the computer manufacturer to pay $386 million in alleged duty evasion.

The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) has stayed the Commissioner of Customs Bangalores order against HP India Sales Private Ltd (HPI), HP said.

The case relates to an investigation by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in 2008, where the government agency had alleged that HPI had underpaid customs duties while importing products and spare parts into India.

In April last year, the Commissioner of Customs Bangalore had issued an order on the products show cause notice affirming certain duties and penalties against HPI and the named individuals of approximately $386 million.

When contacted, a HPI spokesperson said the firm does not agree with DRIs investigation as well as the commissioners order. HP disagrees with the DRIs position and Commissioners orders and has challenged the orders before CESTAT. The CESTAT has stayed the Commissioners orders until final disposal of the appeal, the spokesperson said.

Prior to the issuance of the show cause notices, HP said it had deposited approximately $16 million with the DRI and agreed to post a provisional bond in exchange for the DRIs agreement to not seize HP products and spare parts and to not interrupt business by HP in India.