The Supreme Court Friday deprecated the tendency of some industrial houses not to pay the government dues and taxes while lavishly spending on celebrity actors for the advertising their products.
A bench of made the observation as it refused to provide any interim relief to cement manufacturer Binani Cement Limited that has been asked by the Rajasthan government to pay sales tax dues of Rs.183.37 crore for the period 2008-2011.
As senior counsel P.P. Rao, appearing for Binani Cement, addressed the court on its plea, Justice Sen observed: “Everybody has to be paid except the state. This is the same (company) in which Amitabh Bachchan says ‘Sadiyon Ke Liye'”.
“How much you have paid? Industry does not pay (the government dues). They don’t pay taxes. Are they only for employment? How much you have spent on advertisement. It must be in crores. AGovernment don’t run without taxes,” he asked.
Asking Binani Cement to pay the taxes, Justice Sen said: “You pay your taxes. I don’t know why we pamper industry. They don’t pay (their) dues, taxes..”
The court said this while refusing to interfere with Rajasthan High Court order by which it had stayed operation of an order passed by the single judge, saying Binani Cement would pay its sales tax dues of Rs.184.12 crore (Rs.153.34 crore tax and Rs. 30.78 crore interest) by paying an upfront payment of Rs.50 crore and the balance in twelve instalments.
This order of the single judge came in the wake of Binani Cements’ challenging the April 7 order of Rajasthan’s commercial tax department by which the cement manufacturer was ordered to make an upfront payment of 50 percent of the sales tax dues of Rs.183.37 crore and balance in ten instalments.
As Binani Cement counsel Rao sought to make his submission on the financial stress that his client was facing, the court said that he could present these arguments before the division bench of the Rajasthan High court when it heard the matter.
The single judge order was challenged by the Rajasthan government before the division bench which had put it on hold.