The Bombay High Court has ordered the income tax authorities to refund tax worth Rs 11.28 billion paid by Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi) in 2016-17.

On August 31, 2023, an assessing officer passed an order against Vi, two years after a dispute resolution panel issued directions to the company. The order was issued under the faceless assessment system, which seeks to eliminate the human interface between taxpayers and the income tax department. Vi had contested that the assessing officer had failed to pass the final order in the prescribed period.

The Bombay High Court held that the assessment order against the operator was unsustainable and time-barred. A division bench of Justices K R Shriram and Neela Gokhale also recommended an inquiry against the assessing officer for failure to abide by the legal mandate and the lack of diligence.