Actor Vishal Says No Raids, Just an Enquiry by Income Tax Dept
Vishal brushed aside all rumours of raids and said it was just an enquiry by IT-officials for non payment of TDS.
News of raids being conducted at actor Vishal’s office in Chennai on Monday, 23 October, spread like wildfire, and after over four hours, the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence stepped in to state that the news was false.
Actor Vishal who had been away from the city on a shoot clarified that there were no raids at Vishal Film Factory, the production house he owns. He added that a few income tax officials had come to seek details on non payment of TDS. Income tax sources say Vishal hasn't paid around 50 lakh rupees collected as TDS and will have to visit the IT Office on Friday.
Rumours were strife that GST Intelligence Agency conducted raids at his office premises. Media persons had gathered outside the desolate office in Vadapalani, Chennai, since afternoon to enquire if there was any evasion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) amount to be paid by the production house.
The GST Intelligence Agency is tasked with checking evasion of GST.
The Vishal Film Factory was set up in 2013 and has produced six films – including Kathakali, Naan Sigappu Manithan and Aambala – in which Vishal played the lead actor.
Income tax sources have said Vishal is the president of the Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council and has always lent his voice to issues pertaining to the film industry. There was speculation that the raids were conducted after a statement the actor made against BJP national secretary H Raja for conceding that he had watched parts of actor Vijay’s latest film Mersal online.
Raja had told a private Tamil channel that he had watched online a few scenes of the movie, “which people said had content which had hurt their sentiments.”
Actor Vishal has been in the forefront on the need to oppose piracy. “A national leader of a national party has just confessed to watching a newly-released film not in the theatre, but illegally. Being a leader who is known by the public, how can you support piracy without any shame?” he said in a strongly-worded statement, The Hindu reported.
“I, as a sincere citizen, a true workaholic, and a man who thinks twice before doing anything, seriously wonders how a political leader like you can watch a pirated version which sets a bad example. Totally insensitive and uncalled for,” he said.
Raja should apologise since piracy is a serious threat which is corroding the industry one CD at a time, he added.
Several others like R Parthiepan, popular actor and director, also condemned the BJP leader’s statement.
Raja was among many BJP leaders who had criticised the film for its dialogues mocking at the GST regime and the ‘Digital India’ initiative of the Central government.
Mersal has been receiving a lot of flak from right-wing ministers and supporters who have been condemning the film’s critique of the Centre’s initiatives, and have even called for chopping off a few scenes from the film.
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