A day after a special court for economic offences in Bangalore issued summons to Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya on an income-tax department case for allegedly not remitting to the government the tax deducted at source from salaries of employees, the company termed the case infructuous and said it needed to be withdrawn. "The demand has been set aside by the income-tax appellate tribunal, Karnataka, and it is our view no demand exists. Arising out of the various appeals, the company has approached the supreme court by means of a special leave petition and the hearing of this is posted for March 8. The demand of Rs 74.94 crore, the TDS on salaries, has been paid to the tax authorities," Kingfisher said.
The court's action came after it took cognisance of the offence under sections 276B and 278B of the I-T Act, 1962, for not remitting Rs 74.94 crore deducted as TDS in 2009-10 fiscal and Rs 23.70 crore imposed as interest for not meeting the deadline stipulated for payment. Section 276B entails rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of three months and a maximum of seven years with fine.
The I-T officials on Tuesday had filed the criminal complaint against the airline and Mallya for failure to remit
TDS for the fiscal 2009-10. The I-T Department had also complained that Kingfisher owed the government Rs 401 crore as TDS amount, deducted from salaries of its employees and from payments made to others in the financial years 2008-2012. The next hearing will be on April 19.
Carrying a debt of nearly Rs 8,000 crore and accumulated loss and liabilities of a similar amount, Kingfisher has been grounded since October 1 last year after its pilots and engineers went on a strike over non-payment of salaries.