I am a Chinese, not a terrorist: Huawei India CEO in court

Huawei General Manager of Telecommunications (India) Li Xiongwei told a Delhi court on Friday: “I am a Chinese (national) and not a terrorist,” apparently borrowing a line from a Shah Rukh Khan film.

The remark was made by his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal in response to the income tax The department’s (IT) opposition to Li’s bail request. The department had asked the court to dismiss the plea. In the movie My Name is Khan, the character of the star says, “My name is Khan and I’m not a terrorist.”

The department told the court that India does not have an extradition treaty with it China and if the CEO leaves for this country, it would be “very difficult” to bring him back. The investigation is not yet complete, the department said in its affidavit, which was seen by ET.

The department released the affidavit in response to a plea filed by Li seeking the rescission of a supervisory circular issued against him by the income tax department. A circular of surveillance, or LOC, prevents a person from traveling abroad. Authorities use it to prevent people accused in criminal cases from leaving the country; they usually only find out about these restrictions against them at the airport.

Opposing the department’s request, Aggarwal said it was “disturbing” that the department would oppose bail on a bailable offense. Claiming that the LOC issued against Li is an abuse of power, Aggarwal added that such a curb can only be issued for a recognizable offence. The offense allegedly involving Li is an unrecognizable offense, I argued.

The court verbally observed that it would have to look at safeguards to ensure that Li would return to India if he was allowed to travel to China. “What if tomorrow he flies away (to China) and never comes back?”

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Verdict next week

The bench inquired about Li’s annual salary and asked his lawyer to ensure that two sureties, both of Indian nationality, are arranged by next week when the court hands down its judgment. The court also inquired about Li’s relatives and assets in India.

At the court’s request, Li’s attorney gave the IT department seven days’ notice before leaving the country.

In its affidavit, the income tax department said the LOC against the CEO was “correct and consistent with the provisions of the law.” The department said there was “no reason for the LOC to be revoked in the current scenario.”

The affidavit added that “the rights of an individual must be weighed against the safeguarding of the interests of the prosecution and investigation bodies. In the present case, the economic interest of the country would be paramount.”

The department further argued that during February’s search operations of premises belonging to Huawei’s CEO and other staff, they “deliberately circumvented” compliance and engaged in shifting “responsibility/l ‘accountability to the next shoulder’.

The department alleged that the documents submitted by Huawei are “completely insufficient to verify the veracity of the various assertions made in the tax returns and to determine the appropriate arm’s length price of the material related party transactions undertaken by the company in the absence of the prescribed books of accounts”. accounts.”

He further stated that “the discrepancies in the linkages between the submitted ERP (enterprise resource planning) data and the company’s final financial statements establish in themselves a deliberate and willful attempt on the part of the company and people responsible for its business, including the CEO of failing to grant access as required by law.”

ET was the first to report on May 25 that Li, a Chinese national, was arrested at New Delhi airport on May 1 and not allowed to board a flight to Bangkok to attend a meeting on behalf of Huawei Telecommunications (India). His boarding pass was canceled and not returned to him. I had petitioned the Delhi High Court to challenge the LOC.

He called the IT department’s action “a blow” to his reputation “and to the reputation of Huawei IndiaIn response, as ET first reported last month, the IT department told the Delhi High Court that a LOC had been issued against Li “because his conduct during the search showed that he presented a flight risk”.

Huawei denied the accusations of non-cooperation. In a statement released to ET last month, Huawei’s India unit said it fully cooperates with authorities and has submitted information and clarifications required by authorities from time to time.

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