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Sun Micro faces Rs 330-cr Customs penalty in spares import case
May, 30th 2012

Sun Microsystems, a part of US-based computer giant Oracle, has been ordered to pay about Rs 330 crore by the Customs Department for alleged tax evasion.

An adjudicating order issued by the Commissioner of Customs, Bangalore, in March said the company has undervalued computer spare-parts imported from its Singapore office. It has thus held it liable of paying a differential duty of Rs 148.39 crore, apart from a penalty of an equal amount.

Additionally, a redemption fine of Rs 35 crore has been levied for the goods confiscated upon searches by Customs officials at its Chennai and Bangalore premises. The order cites duty evasion for the period between December 2001 and February 2007.

Officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Bangalore, were in receipt of intelligence that Sun Microsystems India Pvt Ltd, Bangalore (SMIPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Microsystems Inc., US, have been importing computer spare-parts from Sun Microsystems Pte. Ltd., Singapore, the order document seen by Business Line said.

These spare-parts have been undervalued and thus, they have been evading Customs duty, it added.

When asked of the developments over emailed queries, Oracle India declined to comment.

Penalty has also been imposed on former officials of Sun Microsystems, including Mr Bhaskar Pramanik and Mr Ravi Vishwanath. Investigation by the DRI on the Sun Microsystems case had begun in 2006, followed by the issuance of a show-cause notice by the Customs Department on February 2009.

Santa Clara, California-based Sun Microsystems was bought by the $35.6-billion Oracle Corporation in January 2010 for $7.4 billion.

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