`To speak so indirectly I am loath: I would say the truth'
It is enacted in the laws of Venice, Portia informs Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, that if it be proved against an alien that by direct or indirect attempts he seeks the life of any citizen, “the party ‘gainst the which he doth contrive shall seize one half his goods; the other half comes to the privy coffer of the state; and the offender’s life lies in the mercy of the duke only, ‘gainst all other voice.”
While one may wonder if taxes too aren’t similarly seizing in nature, this story is about how the taxman made direct attempts to fight, right at the apex court, on an ‘indirect’ issue.
Hero Exports, Ludhiana, had filed its returns computing export profits, net of expenses both direct and indirect. The taxman took the view that the profits were overstated, owing to a lower amount of indirect expenses.