Malayalam actor Fahadh Faasil on Thursday got anticipatory bail from a court near Alappuzha regarding a case where he allegedly got his luxury car registered on a fake address in Puducherry.
Fahadh had earlier filed an anticipatory bail petition at Alappuzha District Session Court, after the Crime Branch issued a notice asking the actor to appear for further interrogation in the case.
After the tax evasion case stirred up controversy in the state, Fahadh had paid a tax amount of Rs 17.68 lakh to the Motor Vehicles Department. The actor was accused of tax evasion after an investigation by Mathrubhumi News revealed that he had paid only Rs 1.5 lakh as tax, as opposed to the Rs 14 lakh he would have had to pay had he registered his SUV in Kerala.
The actorâ€™s Benz E Class, which is worth Rs 70 lakhs, was allegedly registered in Puducherry under a fake address. The family living in the address has claimed that they are unaware of the actor and the registration.
During the day, BJP's Rajya Sabha member and popular actor Suresh Gopi was also questioned by the Crime Branch in the state capital on the same charge.
Suresh Gopi, who earlier secured anticipatory bail from the Kerala High Court, appeared before the Crime Branch officials as per court directions. A Crime Branch official told IANS that Gopi was present at their office for more than two hours to answer their queries.
The Regional Transport Commissioner's office in Thiruvananthapuram has been cracking down for the past month on the thriving business of Kerala residents getting their high-end cars registered in Puducherry to take advantage of low taxes there.
The only requirement for vehicle registration is that the car owner should have a Puducherry address.
A probe into the Puducherry addresses revealed that some of them were one-room houses and those living there had no clue about how their addresses were used for registration of vehicles.
The Kerala government ordered a Crime Branch probe after the media reported on the matter. The state exchequer losses were estimated at over Rs 300 crore over five years, according to a top official.
Apart from the two, actress Amala Paul approached the Kerala High Court on Wednesday for anticipatory bail.
(With IANS inputs)