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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Madras HC fines actor Vijay Rs 1 lakh for seeking duty exemption on luxury car, calls tax evasion ‘anti-national habit’

The judge noted evasion of tax is to be construed as “an anti-national habit, attitude and mindset and unconstitutional”. The actor has been asked to contribute Rs 1 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Covid-19 relief fund.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
Updated: July 14, 2021 6:56:22 am
actor vijay tax exemption on rolls royceVijay has been asked to contribute Rs 1 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Covid-19 relief fund | file photo

The Madras High Court on Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on popular Tamil actor Vijay for failing to pay the entry tax for his Rolls-Royce Ghost luxury car he imported from England in 2012. While the fine amount would go to Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund to fight Covid-19, the court also asked the actor to pay the tax, if not paid already, to the commercial tax department within two weeks time. The tax amount was 20% of the cost of the car.

The order dated July 8th and released on Tuesday, by Justice S M Subramaniam, was on a case in which the actor had challenged the tax demand from the department. The court reminded the actor about his huge fan base: “Those fans see such actors as real heroes. In a state like Tamil Nadu, where such actors have become rulers of the state, they are not expected to behave like a ‘reel hero’. Tax evasion is to be construed as an anti-national habit, attitude and mindset and unconstitutional,” the order said.

The scathing order said these actors are portraying themselves as champions to bring social justice in the society. “Their movies are against corrupt activities in the society. But, they are evading tax and acting in a manner, which is not in consonance with the provisions of the statutes,” Justice Subramaniam said in his order adding that the rich, affluent and reputed persons fail to pay tax in a society when the common man is motivated and encouraged to behave as a lawful citizen and pay tax and to thrive hard to achieve social justice.

“If such was the situation, it would be a long way to achieve the constitutional goals,” the order said.

Reminding the actor to respect the sentiments of his fans who watch his movies by paying for the ticket, the court said: “It is only out of such money that the petitioner has purchased the ‘world’s prestigious’ car for his personal usage.”

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