Vijay Gutte, director of The Accidental Prime Minister Vijay Gutte, has cleared the air over his arrest last year for alleged GST [Goods and Services Tax] fraud while he was making the film. He was granted bail soon after.
During an interaction for his film, he gave his version on the entire matter.
Gutte said that he was a victim of misunderstanding. “The [GST] department had a misunderstanding. There is a person from Horizon company who was working with us for three years. He has worked with other big companies too. He is into vendor management. In our field there are a lot of vendors; there are less employees,” he said.
Gutte has alleged that the person [who he did not name] made fake bills. “We had made all payments to him. But he didn’t pay the GST fees and made fake bills. Such cases have come out a lot in the last six months,” he said.
While defending himself, Gutte said that he has paid Rs110 crore in taxes in the last nine years. “Our company hasn’t shied away from paying even a rupee of tax. You can verify this from IMPPA [Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association]. There hasn’t been a single case against me in these nine years. On the contrary, I had filed two cases and I have won both,” he said.
Gutte revealed that the court has not even confiscated his passport. “I don’t even need to inform them about anything. They saw my profile. The only problem was that it happened on Friday. Because of the holidays, it took 7-8 days. A person who has an office with 700-800 employees and machinery worth Rs100 crore won’t commit a robbery of Rs15-16 crore,” he said.
The director added that the problem was that he wasn’t available for the department. “I was travelling and shooting,” he said. “And the guy who did the cheating has run away. He was taken into custody by the department for 60 days. After the auto bail, there were tracking systems installed in his vehicles. He broke all that and ran away [sic].”
“If a person wants to rob, he will rob and run away. When all this was happening I was in London. I returned and supported the department with everything. The department itself gave me bail. They have given in writing that they had a doubt that I am also involved with that person and even I might run away so they won’t be able to recover their money so they did this for security. A lot of people have misused the GST in our country through fake bills [sic],” added Gutte.
Despite the ordeal he went through, he said he was glad with the scenario in the country currently. “I am happy that things have become strict. There are 10 people ready to loot a good company today. Okay, what happened with me was wrong but I am honestly supporting the department and saying that they should catch all the fraudsters. If out of 10, two fraudsters go to jail then it’s fine. I am not here to cheat anyone. I love this country, so I can’t even think of doing such a thing,” he said.
Gutte informed that he had faced the Enforcement Directorate and CBI in the past too because he comes from a business family. “This was very unfortunate but the government is doing an excellent job. Now people are scared to commit fraud in this country because now they are straightaway arresting people even if they have a doubt. This wasn’t the case earlier. You can see the number of scams coming out in the last year. Earlier they never used to come out,” he said.
Gutte ended his version by addressing a message meant for the GST department. “Sir, my net worth is a lot. Even if I had run away, you would have received five times the amount. So please be extra cautious next time because a person’s name gets tarnished. My family is very scared. They are giving me police protection. They are still thinking that somebody planned this against me,” he said.
The Accidental Prime Minister is scheduled to be released on 11 January.