The Special Court for Economic Offences, Bangalore, on Wednesday issued summons to the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya on a criminal case filed by the Income-Tax Department for not remitting to the government tax deducted at source (TDS).

The court took cognisance of the offence under Sections 276B and 278B of the I-T Act, 1962 for not remitting Rs. 74.94 crore, deducted as TDS from salaries of employees in the financial year 2009-10, and an interest of Rs. 23.70 crore for skipping the deadline.

The next hearing will be on April 19.

According to Section 276B, failure to remit TDS can attract rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of three months and a maximum of seven years with fine.

I- T Department counsel Jeevan N. said the company was not permitted to utilise the TDS. “It is not the tax liability of the company” and what it did “amounts to withholding money belonging to the government,” the department said in its complaint.

It also complained that Kingfisher owed the government Rs. 401 crore by way of TDS amount, deducted from salaries of its employees and from payments made to others in the financial years 2008-2012. But the company did not respond to many communications demanding payment, and even objected to the computation of TDS at Rs. 401 crore. This assessment was made after the department raided the company premises in March 2011.

The company failed to remit the amount even after the Karnataka High Court on December 5, 2012 directed it to pay 50 per cent of the total outstanding and give bank guarantees within six weeks for the remaining amount.