Madras high court refuses to quash prosecution against actor SJ Surya – Times of India

Chennai News
SJ Suryah(File Photo)
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SJ Suryah(File Photo)

CHENNAI: In a setback to actor/director S J Surya, the Madras high court has refused to quash six prosecutions initiated against him by the income tax department for recovery of over 7 crore tax due.
Pointing out that the actor had failed to pay taxes and file proper returns even after notices were issued, Justice G Chandrasekharan said, the Income Tax Act empowers a court to presume the culpable mental state of the accused unless he shows that he had no such mental state concerning the act charged as an offence in the prosecution.
The issue pertains to assessment years 2002-03 to 2006-07 and 2009-10. Claiming that the actor had suppressed taxable income during the assessment years, the department initiated prosecution against the actor for recovery of pending tax to the tune of 7.5 crore.
Aggrieved, the actor has moved the present batch of pleas challenging the prosecution before the special court for income tax cases, Chennai.
Representing the actor, senior advocate N R Elango submitted that the complaints are premature when the proceedings before the department are yet to conclude and reach finality.
Opposing the same, special public prosecutor for the department N Sheela contended that all these petitions are not maintainable, and these petitions are filed abusing the process of the court.
“These complaints have been filed as an offshoot of survey and search proceedings. But for the survey and search proceedings, the violations committed by the petitioner would not have come to light and it would have resulted in suppression of income and loss of revenue to the government. These petitions have been filed mainly on the reason that Income Tax Appellate Tribunal have held assessments are null and void,” she said.
Recording the submissions, the court said, “It is seen from the complaint that despite giving notice, statutory notice as detailed in the complaint, petitioner has not filed return, paid advance tax and tax demanded, suppressed the real and true income by not filing the return in time.”


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