Gutkha baron's brother held for excise duty evasion

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Mumbai, Mar 6 (UNI) Arun Joshi, brother of ''gutkha'' baron J M Joshi, has been arrested and remanded in judicial custody till March 19 for alleged evasion of excise duty to the tune of Rs 12 crore.

Joshi was arrested from his residence in Thane last evening and produced before the 37th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate V Dixit who remanded him in judicial custody till March 19 Central Excise Department sources said here today that Arun Joshi had allegedly removed and transported the ''Goa'' brand of ''gutkha'' from their two factories in Rajasthan and Delhi to evade excise duty.

The excise duty evasion was to the tune of Rs 12 crore, the sources said, adding that investigations into the matter was initiated on February 17.

Arun Joshi had moved a bail application. Central Excise special public prosecutor, while arguing against the bail, told the court that Joshi was involved in such tax evasion from the period between August last year to February this year.

Joshi's counsel contended before the court that his client was not a manufacturer of the ''Goa gutkha'' and, so, could not be held responsible for excise duty evasion. Joshi's counsel told the court that his client was ready to cooperate with the investigating agency and should be released on conditional bail. The court, however, rejected the bail plea.

UNI ST MAZ YA HT1504

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