Reports from Kerala suggest that popular journalist, CEO and chief editor of Malayalam news channel 'Reporter' MV Nikesh Kumar has been arrested by Central Board of Excise and Customs for evading service tax.
Nikesh reportedly failed to pay more than ₹1.5 crore service tax on revenues he received for advertisements on his channel.
Central excise department had earlier sent notices regarding this matter and according to the latest reports, if Nikesh fails to pay this huge sum of money in a day, he will be remanded to custody.
Meanwhile, CPIM leader Pinarayi Vijayan has extended his support to Nikesh on Facebook, saying the move by Central Excise department has questioned the freedom of press. Vijayan has also criticised the Narendra Modi government's double standards pointing out the recent cut in corporate tax and writing of debt of many corporates.
Nikesh, late UDF leader MV Raghavan's son, began his career as a reporter in Asianet news and later joined Indiavision before starting the Reporter channel along with many other journalists.
He holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature and is a recipient of "Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism".