From Shararat and Fun2shh to Dabangg and Rockstar -- film producer Dhillin Mehta has made giant strides in Bollywood. But, in the process, he seems to have become too big for his boots. After being arrested by the Rajasthan police at the Mumbai international airport in January, now the service tax department has frozen four of his bank accounts after he failed to pay up Rs 8.8 crore as tax.
Yesterday, Mehta appeared in the service tax department office at Matunga and officials recorded his statement again. On August 30, taxmen had landed up at his residence and served a notice. Subsequently, on September 20, Mehta had appeared at the service tax office.
During the interrogation the head honcho of Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd had accepted that he had evaded tariff to the tune of Rs 3.1 crore. Sources say Mehta had then promised to clear the dues soon. But, fearing arrest, he also took anticipatory bail from the court and then disappeared. He had not been accepting the notice of the service tax department. Fed up, officials commenced recovery proceedings against him, during which assets in his bank accounts were immobilised.
Sources say that service tax department representatives were planning to get the anticipatory bail rejected. But yesterday, he appeared in court and his statement was noted again.
Mehta, reportedly, cadmitted to evading service tax to the tune of Rs 3.1 crore, but did not make clear when he was going to pay up.
“We have recorded Mehta’s statement. He is liable to pay Rs 8.8 crore as service tax. He is not cooperating with the investigation. He accepts that he has avoided paying tax, but is not spelling out a timeframe within which he would come through. We will appeal in court soon to get his anticipatory bail cancelled,” said Samir Wankhede, deputy commissioner (anti-evasion), service tax.
MiD DAY made repeated attempts to contact Mehta, but his mobile phone was switched off.
Mehta was arrested in January this year at the international airport in Mumbai, on the basis of a case filed against him for unpaid dues. He was flown to Jaipur and taken to the Jalupura police station, where he was formally arrested. However, after an associate paid up some of the dues, a magistrate’s court granted him bail.