Maran challenged reports that he and another company official have been summoned as accused by a Delhi court in two tax evasion cases for their alleged failure to deposit over Rs 147 crore TDS
Embattled media tycoon Kalanithi Maran on Thursday broke his silence to deny allegations of dodging taxes.
In a statement, Maran challenged reports that he and another company official have been summoned as accused by a Delhi court in two tax evasion cases for their alleged failure to deposit over Rs 147 crore TDS with the income tax (IT) department.
Sun Group companies collectively and he, as an individual, pay more than Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion) in taxes annually to the national exchequer, he said.
"We are not tax dodgers," said Maran, adding that his group was awarded on many occasions by the authorities.
"SpiceJet was the only company in the Sun Group that had difficulty in making timely payments during 2014, which was inevitable given the very challenging times faced by the entire airline industry. Despite those hurdles, we had cleared all its dues around February 2015 well before the new promoter took over. It is therefore to be noted that there was no evasion of tax as reported but only a delay in making those remittances," the statement noted.
He added this has been “unequivocally” clarified by the current management team at SpiceJet stating that all tax dues have been cleared and that there are no payments pending.
“Notwithstanding the above it is also very important to bear in mind that I was a non-executive Chairman of the board of directors and was never designated as the Principal Officer of the company. I was never in charge of the day-to-day affairs at SpiceJet Ltd. Therefore I had no knowledge of the routine operations of the airline nor was I ever responsible for periodic tax compliances,” Maran said in the statement.
"It is unfortunate that after almost a period of six months after payment of TDS dues by SpiceJet, a case has been suddenly filed naming me as an accused, despite knowing fully well that I am not in charge of the day-to-day operations of SpiceJet," he added.
"Given that the Sun group companies and I have been the topic of several malicious and misleading stories fed to the print media by certain people, it appears that this action too may have been motivated by ulterior motives to tarnish the image and reputation of the Sun Group and me," Maran claimed.