The Madras High Court today refused to interfere with an order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal directing Kalaignar TV to pay Rs 2.50 crore per month towards tax demands till the disposal of its appeal.
The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice PT Asha said, "We do not deem it appropriate to interfere with the order, except to direct the tribunal that it shall hear and dispose of the appeal within six months."
It was passing orders on a petition filed by the Kalaignar TV Private Ltd.
The matter relates to the revised demand of Rs 95.58 crore for assessment year 2011-12 by the Income Tax department.
Kalaignar TV had filed an appeal before the tribunal, seeking a stay on the entire outstanding demand till the appeal was heard and decided.
The tribunal, in its May 25 order, had disposed of the appeal with a condition that Kalaignar TV would pay Rs 2.50 crore per month towards the tax demands till the disposal of the appeal.
Challenging this, Kalaignar TV has approached the court.
It has contended that the tribunal had failed to consider its submissions that the trade advances received from various companies for advertisements were added entirely by the assessing officer in assessment year 2011-12, which was "contrary" to sections 4 and 5 of the Income Tax Act.
Noting that it had already paid Rs 6 crore towards the disputed tax amount, the petitioner has submitted that the channel was in financial crisis and had financial responsibilities with regard to the salary and other statutory dues of more than 300 of its employees.
In view of this, the payment of any further amount would lead to the closure of its business operations, the petitioner has said.
Besides, the petitioner has said the TV channel is unable to make payments towards the salary of its employees and other statutory liabilities and sought for an interim stay on all further proceedings pursuant to the order of the tribunal.