news Thursday, July 23, 2015 - 05:30
  Days after a Delhi court summoned former SpiceJet chairman Kalanithi Maran and two others over alleged tax evasion for their failure to pay Rs. 147 crore TDS with the Income Tax department, Maran has challenged all claims. “We are not tax dodgers,” said Kalanithi Maran in a detailed statement addressing reports regarding the same. Read the full text of statement by Maran I wish to clarify for the benefit of all stakeholders and the public at large in the interest of setting the record straight, with regard to a news report which appeared in certain columns today, quoting PTI sources that the budget airline SpiceJet Ltd, its chairman Mr Kalanithi Maran and another top 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. In this regard it is pertinent to note the following: 1.   The companies of the Sun Group collectively and me in my personal capacity pay more than Rs 600 crores as taxes annually to the national exchequer. There have been several occasions when tax authorities have awarded trophies and honored Sun TV Network Ltd with citations for exemplary compliance and for topping the region in terms of highest tax payments. We are not tax dodgers. 2.   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.This has been unequivocally clarified by the current management team at SpiceJet, whose Company Secretary has formally written to the BSE earlier today that all tax dues have been cleared and that there are no payments pending. 3.   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. 4.   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. 5.   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. I am confident that the Honorable Courts will render justice to us.