The Madras High Court has dismissed Tamil actor Vijay’s petition seeking tax exemption on a luxury car that he imported from England, Live Law reported on Tuesday. The court imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh and ordered him to pay it to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund within two weeks.
Vijay had told the court in his petition that he paid import duty on his Rolls Royce Ghost, which costs more than Rs 5 crore. The actor added that when he approached the regional transport officer in Chennai for a registration mark for the car, he was asked to pay entry tax. He filed a writ petition in the High Court in 2012 seeking exemption from this tax.
Justice SM Subramaniam pulled up the actor for trying to evade tax. “The petitioner, who is a reputed cine actor, is expected to pay the tax promptly and punctually,” he said, according to PTI. “In the state of Tamil Nadu, cine heroes rose as rulers of the state and, therefore, the people are under the impression that they are the real heroes. Thus, they are not expected to behave like reel heroes.”
“Tax evasion is to be construed as anti-national habit, attitude and mindset and unconstitutional,” the judge said, according to Live Law. “These actors are portraying themselves as champions to bring social justice in the society. Their pictures are against corrupt activities in society. But, they are evading tax and acting in a manner, which is not in consonance with the provisions of the statutes.”
The judge noted that tax paid by citizens was used for social welfare and infrastructure projects. He also said that the people saw actors as “real heroes”, PTI reported. “Thus, they are not expected to behave like reel heroes,” he added.
Subramaniam added that the wealth that reputed people such as actors had accumulated came from “the poor man’s blood and not the sky”, according to The Hindu.
The judge criticised the actor for not disclosing his occupation in the petition. “He has imported a prestigious costly car from England but unfortunately, not paid entry tax as per the statutes,” the judge said. “He has filed a writ petition to avoid payment of tax.”