The Central Excise Department on Sunday summoned leading Malayalam actor Dileep to explain alleged evasion of service tax.
The action followed revelation of the evasion of the tax during raids conducted in the offices and residences of the actor in Kerala on Sunday. The raid was also conducted at the residence of film director Lal Jose. Dileep, who was in a shooting location when the officials simultaneously raided his residence at Alwaye and production offices at Cochin, has offered to appear before the officials at the Central Excise Office at Cochin at 1.30pm on Monday.
The raid that followed intelligence reports that Dileep had hidden large portion of his remuneration also yielded unaccounted cash Rs.1.3 billion, foreign currencies and documents related to some of his land deals.
The service tax officials said the actor has been taking only a small portion of the remuneration he receives for the film projects. The rest was collected in the form of distribution rights. Top Customs Department officials said they had seized records of land he purchased in Ernakulam district and outside during the raid Customs commissioner K.N. Raghavan said no offence will be charged against Dileep if he is able to give a satisfactory explanation about the source of money.
Service tax was introduced in the film industry in 2012 and collection was intensified recently. The department had recently introduced a voluntary compliance scheme for the tax following detection of large scale evasion by money.
Reports said the Excise Department had also issued notice to several film producers and actors to furnish details of the remuneration. Officials do not rule out the possibility of raids in the residence and office of other actors.
Dileep, who began his career as an assistant director to Kamal, had a meteoric rise in the film industry. He is now rated as the most sought after actor after the two superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal.
He is married to actress Manju Warrier.
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