Reports said four income tax department officials visited the Vishal Film Factory’s office to probe charges that the production house deducted tax at source of payment worth Rs 51 lakh made to various clients but allegedly failed to deposit the amount with the government.

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“When our team visited his office address after 3pm, Vishal was not present. The inquiry continued for about three hours as the books of accounts were not readily available. Vishal spoke to our officers over the phone and agreed that he would make the payment in two instalments. He has been served summons to appear before the I-T department on Friday,” an unnamed official was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

The company was asked to appear before the department on Friday with its account books.

Earlier Vishal, who lambasted BJP secretary H. Raja sought a public apology from him on Sunday for watching a pirated version of the film, said this was the first time that any team had come to assess his company at its premises.

Raja said during a recent television debate that he watched Mersal on the internet. He later denied the charges and said he had seen some clips of the movie that were shared on WhatsApp.

The South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce has written to the Prime Minister’s Office against Raja for watching the pirated version of the Tamil language film. “Hope PMO will treat the complaint on merit and in a steadfast manner,” the chamber said in a release.

Vijay’s Diwali release Mersal has kicked up a row with the BJP taking exception to references on the central government’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) policy in the movie. BJP leaders, including Raja, a national secretary of the party, state president Tamilisai Soundarajan and Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, have demanded that the “incorrect” references must be deleted from the big-budget flick.

Vijay’s film crossed the Rs 100 crore mark, according to trade analysts, even as the controversy grew bigger with the opposition and film fraternity attacking the saffron party and its alleged efforts to communalise the situation.