Mumbai: Catering company, 4 directors booked for ₹18-crore VAT default
MRA Marg police has booked Fort-based Cawasji Behramji Catering Services Ltd for allegedly defaulting in payment of ₹18 crore Value Added Tax (VAT). The case was filed based on a complaint by Maharashtra tax department.
The catering company is known for providing services to overseas clients, and also provide catering and housekeeping services on vessels travelling to high seas. Presently, it’s not functional, said tax department officials.
The police booked the directors of the company — Alfred Michael Arambhan, Aarti Alfred Arambhan, Puja Alfred Arambhan and Nalini Maria Arambhan — on the complaint of Sambhaji Yadav, deputy commissioner, state tax.
Yadav, in his statement to police, stated the firm has an outstanding payment of taxes to the tune of ₹18.13 crore, including interest and penalty. The department has calculated the tax for non-payment of VAT tax by the company between 2012-13 and 2015-16.
“As per due procedure, the accused company directors were given opportunity to clear the tax dues. The department also followed up matter with them. But on not getting satisfactory response, tax officials decided to initiate prosecution motion against them and issued show-cause notices to the company for the same. Notices were pasted on the company’s Fort office and (the Arambhan) family’s Bandra residence. But the department didn’t receive any response to the notices,” said Yadav.
He added, “After all possible ways of recovering dues were exhausted, we finally lodged a police complaint recently.”
Arambhan Group in an email reply stated that the matter is sub judice. “I am unaware of any FIR that has been registered, thus cannot comment on the same at this stage,” stated Puja Arambhan in the email.
Police registered a case under sections 420 (cheating) 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and section 74 (2) of Maharashtra Value Added Tax Act, 2002 against the four directors.
“The tax department has already produced documents pertaining to the alleged fraud. Soon we would start recording statement of the witnesses and take further lawful action on the accused,” said an officer, requesting anonymity.