Chennai: Media baron and promoter of Sun TV group Kalanithi Maran on Thursday said that they were not tax dodgers and the media was being fed stories about the group and him by people with vested interests.
“Given that the Sun Group of 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 said in a statement issued here.
He issued the statement to clarify news reports about him and a company official of his budget airline SpiceJet Ltd being summoned as an accused by a Delhi court in two tax evasion cases for alleged failure to deposit over Rs.147 crore as tax deducted at source (TDS) with the Income Tax department.
According to him, the Sun Group and he in his personal capacity pay more than Rs.600 crore as taxes annually to the national exchequer.
“We are not tax dodgers,” Maran claimed.
Maran said 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 cleared all 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,” he said.
Maran said he was a non-executive chairman of the board of directors and was never designated as the principal officer of SpiceJet involved in day-to-day affairs of the company.
“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,” Maran said.