The Bombay High Court on Thursday admitted an appeal filed by the Income tax (I-T) Department against Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan in an alleged tax evasion case.
The I-T had challenged the order of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) which ruled in Bachchan's favour in a case of alleged tax evasion on income earned by him from the Rs. 23 crore contract entered by him in 2000-01 with E. Entertainment Private Ltd (EEL) and Star Entertainment Ltd. (SEL) to host reality show Kaun Banega Crorepati.
While admitting the appeal, the division bench of Justice F I Rebello and Justice R S Mohite expressed shock over the order passed by the tribunal. “The tribunal cannot decide whose income it is,” remarked Justice Rebello while referring to the 30-70 per cent distribution of income between Amitabh Bachchan and his company Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL).
Counsels for I-T, Beni Chatterji and G.C. Srivastava said that Bachchan had filed his returns on October 31, 2001, in which he declared only 30 per cent of the Rs 23 crore earned from KBC as his income. The remaining 70 per cent he claimed to be as payment to ABCL.
Even tax was deducted in this regard and TDS certificate was issued in the name of Amitabh Bachchan and not in the name of ABCL, adds the I-T appeal.
On May 18, 2005, the ITAT had accepted Bachchan's arguments and allowed him tax exemption on the alleged payment to ABCL.
However, Chatterji argued that Bachchan had received Rs. 23 crores from EEL and SEL in 2001-02 and he is liable to pay tax on the said amount.