Supreme Court in Vodafone International (dated 20 January 2012) considered its decisions in the matters of McDowell reported in (1985) 3 SCC 230, Azadi Bachao reported in (2004) 10 SCC 1 and the Mathuram Agarwal reported in (1999) 8 SCC 667 and concluded that where the transaction is not genuine but a colourable device there could be no question of tax planning. Supreme Court makes it very clear that a colourable device cannot be a part of tax planning.
Therefore where a transaction is sham and not genuine as in the present case then it cannot be considered to be a part of tax planning or legitimate avoidance of tax liability. The Supreme Court in fact concluded that there is no conflict between its decisions in the matter of McDowell (supra), Azadi Bachao (supra) and Mathuram Agarwal (supra). In the present case the purchase and sale of shares, so as to take long term and short term capital loss was found as a matter of fact by all the three authorities to be a sham. Therefore authorities came to a finding that the same was not genuine.