Income Tax Appellate Tribunal’s (ITAT) Order indicting NDTV for tax evasion and money laundering of around Rs.903 crores is now out in the public domain. The 385-page Order pronounced on July 14 details how the moral preaching NDTV promoter Prannoy Roy was engaged in Money Laundering of more than Rs.1000 crores from 2008 to 2010 while declaring a fake loss of Rs.65 crores. The Order also exposes the role of Managing Editor and another moral preacher Vikram Chandra, who was part and parcel of most of the frauds of Prannoy Roy and wife Radhika Roy.
NDTV had even investments of more than 12 crores in Emmar-MGF Land Limited during 2008-2009. Page 375 of the Order explains the detailed investments made by NDTV.
The full Order pronounced by ITAT’s Members I C Sudhir and Prashant Maharishi is published below this article. It describes in great detail the blatant frauds committed by NDTV under the garb of journalism. Apart from the tax evasion of around Rs. 643 crores by illegally routing money through tax havens like Bermuda via Netherlands, NDTV also laundered money of around Rs. 255 crores as “unexplained unsecured loans”.
As per the ITAT Order, NDTV has committed tax evasion and money laundering of Rs. 902,38,87,629.
The Order clearly says that Vikram Chandra was shown as the head of most of the paper companies floated by NDTV in many countries. Pages 188 and 276 explain the way Vikram Chandra acted in connivance with Prannoy Roy in floating shell companies across the world to evade taxes and launder illicit money. Vikram Chandra owes an answer to these frauds. Will he explain why being an ordinarily resident Indian citizen, he did all these fake activities in floating shell companies?
Many interesting facts have emerged in this 385-page Order. NDTV had even investments of more than 12 crores in Emmar-MGF Land Limited during 2008-2009. Page 375 of the Order explains the detailed investments made by NDTV. Those days Emmar-MGF was involved in Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam related construction controversies. The ethical question that needs to be asked is why is a media company investing in a construction company?
Does Prannoy Roy have anything to say about it? He has taken lying to a whole new level by claiming that he “never touched black money in his entire life.” If awards have to be given for jokes that are essentially lies, this one would take the gold medal.
It is certain that NDTV cannot escape from this huge tax burden. The TV channel has now only one option – of appealing to the High Court and then the Supreme Court. In Delhi High Court the case is already under consideration and the next hearing is posted on July 27. In a nutshell, NDTV is going for a huge tax burden and it is wait-and-watch time as to how they are going to pay this to the exchequer. The rumor mills in the Capital are even saying that in the end, Prannoy Roy may do a Vijay Mallya after all.
The 385 page Order of ITAT is published below. It is a must read document!