An Apex Court bench of Justices Vikramajit Sen and Shiva Kriti Singh said that they would hear the matter on July 1 after senior counsel Bishwajit Bhattacharyya appearing in person urged the court to direct the government and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to comply with rule of law while administering the Income Tax Act, 1961, impartially, without fear or favour.

The petitioner has also sought directions to restrain the Centre from going ahead with arbitration proceedings under India-Netherlands Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA).

The arbitration arises from a tax dispute over Vodafone's acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa's Indian assets in 2007. The government has maintained that the transaction is taxable because it involves Indian assets. However, Vodafone says that Indian tax laws don't apply as the transaction occurred between two overseas companies.

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that Vodafone was not liable to pay taxes on its acquisition. Later that year, the government changed rules to enable it to tax deals that had already been concluded.

(JPN/Agencies)

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