Days after being ordered to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh for evading the tax for his luxurious car, actor Vijay has on Friday moved a petition of appeal to challenge the high court's directive to pay penalty and to seek a fresh order to withdraw objectionable comments against him by the judge. The matter is related to the tax payable for the Rolls Royce car that he imported from England in 2012.
Under the grounds of evading the entry tax for his car, the Madras High Court has earlier this week ordered Vijay to pay a Rs 1 lakh fine along with the tax amount. The court has directed to pay the fine to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund within two weeks. The bench had also come down hard on the actor with an anecdote of asking the actor to be a real hero as he has a huge impression and fan base in the state. However, Vijay was upset over the words and penalty and he was considering challenging the judgment.
Vijay, who is one of the superstar actors in the Indian cinema, has imported a Rolls Royce Ghost car from England in 2012. It is one of the most luxurious cars in the world and he imported the car that is nearly worth Rs 5 crore in 2012 and as per the Indian rules, an imported vehicle can be declared legitimate and can enter the country after paying the import tax and entry tax should also be paid in the respective state of the importer to register the vehicle.
Vijay has paid the import tax of over 1.50 crore and when the actor had approached the regional transport office to register his car, he was told to pay entry tax before registering and it has been reported that Vijay was asked to pay entry tax of Rs 80 lakhs for registering his car. However, Vijay refused to clear the entry tax and after he was ordered to pay the tax without which he can't drive his vehicle. Vijay had approached the Madras High Court in 2012 with a petition challenging the order to pay the entry tax.
According to reports, the court has on July 17, 2012, ordered Vijay to pay 20% of the total entry tax in its interim judgment. As per the order, the actor had paid 20% of the tax on July 23, 2012, and registered his Rolls Royce. After paying the initial tax, he has been using the vehicle, and nearly after nine years, the high court has on Tuesday pronounced its final judgment in the petition that was moved by Vijay seeking full relief from the entry tax. In his plea, Vijay had argued that extraordinary entry tax has been imposed on his vehicle.
The high court bench headed by Justice Subramaniam has said that the petitioner (Vijay) has imported a prestigious car from England but he didn't pay entry tax as per the provision of the act. The high court has noted that the petitioner is a reputed actor and he has to pay the tax promptly. By dismissing his petition, the court has ordered Vijay to pay Rs 1 lakh fine and he has to pay the penalty to the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund as a donation. Levying the fine, which is seen as a setback for Vijay, the court has highlighted that the actors who have a huge fan base are considered real heroes.
With the order, Vijay has to pay the fine as well as the rest of the entry tax. The High Court bench noted, "People are under the impression that they are real heroes. Hence, they are not expected to be like reel heroes. The act of evading tax is considered an anti-national habit and unconstitutional. These actors are displaying themselves as the saviour of social justice on the screens but they are evading tax, which is not in consonance with the provisions of the statutes." "Tax is mandatory and it is not a voluntary payment or donation", the court has added in the judgment.
The court order has stirred furores in Tamil Nadu with several social media users slammed the actor for evading the tax. They noted that the actor shouldn't have asked for the tax exemption. However, on the other hand, the fans of the actor had come in support of him and said that everyone has a right to fight taxation and some of the political leaders had also expressed their support to the actor that he didn't evade the tax intentionally and that he couldn't have approached the court if he did so.
The social media platforms were trending the matter and the sudden setback has upset the actor. Earlier, while speaking to a Tamil news agency, Vijay's counsel has said that the actor has sought tax exemption, which is not something related to tax evasion. It was reported that Vijay is ready to pay the outstanding entry tax and he was planning to seek a directive to repeal the penalty and to remove objectionable comments. The counsel said, "We have decided to appeal and challenge the court order as it has some objectionable comments." As per the decision, Vijay has on Friday moved his petition to challenge the order. His petition will come to hearing on Monday before the bench headed by Justices Sundaresh and Manjula. Vijay is all set for a legal battle from Monday which will decide his success in the challenge against the court order.