Popular journalist, CEO and Chief-Editor of Malayalam news channel 'Reporter' Nikesh Kumar has reacted on matters related to his arrest by Central excise board on Monday, 23 March, for the first time
Nikesh was arrested for evading service taxes amounting to about ₹1.45 crore on revenues he received for advertisements on his channel.
"We have already disputed the said amount in the High Court. It will take between 3-6 months for a TV channel to collect money from a person, who advertises on that channel, while some never pay the money. Likewise, our channel's balance sheet has ₹6 crore of bad debt due to delayed payment or non-payment. Therefore, we went to the HC against the authorities who insisted that we should pay tax on the amount that is yet to be collected," Nikesh writes in a 'Reporter' article, published on Wednesday.
Nikesh had earlier requested the High court to allow his channel to pay the service tax in various tranches as and when it gets money from advertisers.
He has also criticised the commissioner Reshma Lakhani for refusing to meet him. She also reportedly did not let him pay the required tax amount in order to avoid the arrest.
"I even approached former commissioner KN Raghavan, who also couldn't help me. Soon I felt getting arrested is a better option than pleading to the ruling BJP party and Kerala ministers," Nikesh added.
Nikesh, who has been part of various Malayalam news channels for the past 20 years, also stated that he has received more than ₹1 crore from his friends and fans within half an hour after the news of his arrest broke out on social media platforms.
Reporter channel, operated by Indo-Asian News Channel company, was launched in 2011 by a group of journalists who took a ₹15-crore loan from South Indian Bank for the venture. The channel has now become one of the popular news channels in the state within a short span of time.