Ex-BJP MP Chandan Mitra’s firm under I-T scanner in TDS probe

Shyamlal Yadav
Chandan Mitra

THE INCOME TAX Department has initiated 'recovery' and 'prosecution' proceedings against CMYK Printech Ltd, the company that runs The Pioneer newspaper, for allegedly not depositing Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) that was collected from its employees since 2007-08, records show.

The Managing Director of the company is Chandan Mitra, the two-time BJP Rajya Sabha MP who switched to the Trinamool Congress last July.

Records show the I-T Department's Delhi office has initiated proceedings against CMYK for allegedly not depositing TDS of Rs 5.26 crore from 2007-08 to 2016-17, when the company was functioning from its Bahadurshah Zafar Marg address.

They also show that I-T officials conducted a survey at the company's premises in UP's Noida, where it moved to last year, and allegedly found that TDS of Rs 2.67 crore was not deposited since March 2018.

When contacted by The Indian Express, Mitra said: "It is over now. We have already sorted it out. The matter is closed now. We are not going to discuss it in public."

Sources in the I-T Department said recovery proceedings are underway and that CMYK had deposited Rs 30 lakh after its bank accounts were attached on November 30, 2018, and Rs 40 lakh later.

They said the company had submitted a payment schedule to the I-T Department's Delhi office to discharge its statutory TDS obligation by January 31, 2019. But, they said, it failed to do so.

Records show an I-T Deputy Commissioner of the Delhi zone has informed the department's Noida office that it has initiated recovery and prosecution proceedings against the company. But since CMYK is operating from Noida, sources said, all records are in process of being transferred from Delhi.

Records also show that Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax (TDS) in Noida had conducted a survey of CMYK's premises there on January 30, 2019. A senior I-T officer, who is monitoring the case, told The Indian Express: "(The company) has not paid its TDS deducted from hundreds of staffers and issued computer-generated Form-16A statements. Staffers got a communication from Income Tax that their TDS was not paid when they filed claims for reimbursement." Records show that on February 5, 2019, the company requested I-T to transfer the case to Delhi.

However, they show, I-T Principal Chief Commissioner P K Gupta, who is based at Kanpur, directed the department's Delhi office to "ensure that all the case records of the deductor company are forthwith transferred to the ACIT (TDS), Noida, so that necessary action regarding collection of huge outstanding arrear demands, which exist as per records and initiation of coercive action including prosecution as provided under the law, and as expected and desired by the CBDT in the case can be taken up without any further delay".

On February 20, CMYK submitted a representation to the I-T office in Noida: "During that period we were not having any office in Noida and we were operating out of Delhi only. Having said that we being a law abiding company will deposit all TDS by March 31, 2019. Kindly adjourn the case up to March 31 and give any date as per your convenience."