The Bombay High Court on Monday granted interim relief to Reliance Group chairperson Anil Ambani by staying an Income Tax Department’s prosecution notice for non-disclosure of money under the Black Money Act, reported Live Law.

The High Court also directed the department to not take any coercive action against the businessman till the next hearing on November 17, reported PTI.

On August 8, the Income Tax department had issued the notice to Ambani for allegedly evading Rs 420 crore in taxes on undisclosed funds worth more than Rs 814 crore held in two Swiss bank accounts, reported PTI.

However, Ambani’s lawyer, Rafiq Dada, argued that his client could not be prosecuted for alleged transactions made in 2006 and 2012, since the Black Money Act was enforced in 2015.

“That provisions of the Black Money Act, which came into force with effect from July 1, 2015,
cannot be invoked retrospectively to tax the value of any alleged undisclosed foreign asset, which may have existed prior to its coming into force on 1st July 2015,” Ambani’s plea said, reported Live Law.

The division bench of Justices SV Gangapurwala and RN Laddha noted that petitions regarding the retrospective applicability of the Act were pending before various High Courts, including the Bombay High Court, reported Live Law.

The High Court also sought Income Tax Department’s response on the retrospective applicability of the Act in Ambani’s case.