The Directorate-General of Goods & Services Tax Intelligence (DGGSTI) has nabbed Vijay R Gutte, a film director and son of a leading Maharashtra businessman close to the BJP, in connection with an alleged Rs 34.crore GST fraud using fake documents, official sources said here on Friday.
He is the director of the upcoming film — ‘The Accidental Prime
Minister’ starring veteran actor Anupam Kher, who is also chairman of Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. Gutte has been remanded to custody till August 14 by a city court.
The DGGSTI has booked Gutte under section 132(1-c) of the CGST Act, which deals with wrongfully availing input tax credit using fake bills and invoices.
“If found guilty under the law, Gutte could face a penalty and a jail term of five years,” the sources said.
According to DGGSTI, Gutte’s firm, VRG Digital Corp Pvt Ltd (VRGDCPL), allegedly received fake invoices involving GST worth around Rs 34 crore for animation and manpower services from Horizon
Outsource Solutions Pvt Ltd.
Under GST, the Input Tax Credit permits taxpayers to claim credit for taxes paid on purchases after submission of proper documents.
Incidentally, the HOSPL is already under investigations in another massive GST fraud matter.
Besides, VRGDCPL had also claimed refunds of Rs 28 crore, under the Central VAT credits, availed for these fraudulent invoices since over a year.
As per the remand plea filed by the DGGSTI, Gutte has been charged for availing non-existent input tax credits, and also fraudulently claiming refunds for the same from the GST Department using bogus invoices intended to cheat the government.
Gutte’s father, Ratnakar Gutte, is a prominent sugar baron of Parbhani and had contested the last (2014) assembly elections as a BJP-alliance candidate but lost to the Nationalist Congress Party.
Incidentally, last month, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde (NCP) had raised the issue of how Ratnakar Gutte had allegedly availed loans of Rs 5,400 crore in
the name of more than 25,000 farmers from various banks through 22 shell companies.