In a big relief, actor Vijay has on Tuesday got what he demanded through his legal battle that he fought over the matter of paying entry tax to his luxurious Rolls Royce car, which he bought from England in 2012. The actor has challenged the court order directing him to pay a penalty of Rs 1 lakh for not paying the entry tax for his car. Hearing his petition on Tuesday, the Madras High Court has stayed the order pronounced by the single-judge bench that had asked him to pay the penalty.
The matter is related to Vijay's fight against the entry tax for his car that he alleged was levied on him even after he paid the import tax. Vijay is one of the Kollywood superstars who own the Rolls Royce car and he imported the vehicle 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.
However, Vijay challenged the entry tax in the Madras High Court by quoting the verdict of the Kerala High Court which said that the entry tax can be exempted if the import tax is paid. Vijay has paid the import tax of over 1.50 crore and he 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, the actor has been using the vehicle, and nearly nine years after filing the petition, the single-judge bench headed by Justice Subramaniam has earlier this month dismissed his petition and ordered Vijay to pay the rest of the entry tax and Rs 1 lakh fine. The judgment has come in the albeit of Vijay's argument that extraordinary entry tax has been imposed on his vehicle. The bench has come down hard on the actor and ordered him to pay the fine as the donation to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund.
The single-judge bench noted that the actors who have a huge fan base are considered real heroes. Justice Subramaniam 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."
The court has ordered Vijay to pay the fine in two weeks from the time of judgment. However, the actor has decided to challenge the verdict of the single-judge bench and to seek a directive to repeal the penalty and remove objectionable comments against him. His petition has come to the hearing on Tuesday in the bench comprised of Justices Duraiswamy and Hemalatha. During the hearing, Vijay's counsel has criticized the verdict penned by Justice Subramaniam. Vijay's advocate said that Justice Subramaniam has made objectionable comments in a fashion that the actor is against the nation.
The advocate has also said that the courts should not put out degrading comments against the petitioners. By citing that every citizen has a right to fight the tax imposition, Vijay's advocate Vijayanarayanan has asked whether Vijay is the reason for making the petition run for nine years. Vijayanarayanan has said that there are over 500 cases related to tax exemption and asked why Justice Subramaniam had come down hard on Vijay alone. The counsel further argued that the order from the single-judge bench has contained adverse remarks which created negative publicity for the actor.
Vijay's counsel has also said that the actor is ready to pay the rest of the entry tax and sought a directive to repeal the penalty. After hearing the case, the Madras High Court bench has stayed the order of fine of Rs 1 lakh. By giving relief to Vijay in his demand of repealing the fine, the High Court bench has asked the actor to pay the entry tax amount. The court has given Vijay a week's time to pay the rest of the entry tax and directed the Income Tax department to issue a demand challan to Vijay in a week.