The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed Tamil actor Vijay’s, plea filed in 2012, seeking exemption of entry tax for his imported Rolls Royce Ghost car and directed him to pay the entry tax within two weeks, Live Law reported.
Justice SM Subramaniam, who was hearing the case, also imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the actor, to be paid to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Public Relief Fund and stated that filing a writ petition for avoiding payment of tax can “never be appreciated.”
The court stated that the petitioner being a “reputed cine actor” is expected to pay the tax “promptly and punctually.” The court also noted that he did not reveal his profession in the affidavit.
Representing the actor, the counsel S Kumaresan said that Vijay’s Rolls Royce Ghost was imported from England and he had, at the time, paid the import duty to the Customs Department as levied under the Customs Act. He also stated that Vijay then approached the Regional Transport Officer and the Motor Vehicles Inspector to get his new vehicle registered. He was directed to Assistant Commissioner to pay an entry tax. Since it was an “extraordinary entry tax,” Vijay moved the Madras High Court seeking an exemption under article 226, Kumaresan said.
“The vehicle of the petitioner is lying idle and the vehicle could not be operated on public roads unless the vehicle is duly registered,” Kumaresan told the court.
Stating that the taxation system was the backbone of the nation’s economy, the court said that the tax collected by the government goes towards social welfare projects.
“Tax evasion is to be construed as an anti-national habit, attitude and mindset and is unconstitutional,” the court observed.
The court also noted that the constitutional goal of social justice can be achieved only if people of such stature pay the tax punctually and act as “real heroes” in their life.
“The petitioner/actor has large scale fan groups and those fans see the actor as real heroes. 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 real heroes. Thus, they are not expected to behave like a reel hero,” the court order stated.