The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the response of superstar Amitabh Bachchan on a petition by Income Tax Department which has claimed that the actor owes to it Rs 1.66 crore as taxes on his income he earned through quiz show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' during 2001-02.
A bench of justices DK Jain and Madan B Lokur issued notice to the megastar on the IT Department's petition against a Bombay high court order dismissing the government's plea challenging the exemption granted to Bachchan by Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) in 2010.
The Bombay high court had dismissed the IT Department's plea on February 29 last year.
The IT Department in its petition has alleged that the actor in his returns filed for the assessment year 2001-02 showed his taxable income to be about Rs 3.23 crore while the Assessing Officer (AO) assessed the money earned by Bachchan to be around Rs 26 crore including the amount he had earned from the TV show, KBC.
The AO's order was upheld by the Commissioner of Income Tax, but both the orders was set aside by the ITAT against which the authorities had moved the high court.
A similar plea is pending since May 2009 in the apex court which had earlier issued notice to the megastar.
Earlier in 2008, the high court had allowed I-T exemption on 30% of Bachchan's total income of Rs 50.92 crore from the show.
The high court had accepted the actor's plea that being an artiste he should be given tax relief under Section 80 RR of the Income-Tax Act.
The I-T department in its appeal had challenged the order on the ground that the relief is for those artistes who either earn by performing outside the country or receive payment from foreign agencies.
It was submitted by the I-T department that Bachchan was acting as an anchor in the television programme show for Star India Ltd and cannot be termed artiste for his role in the show.