The Crime Branch police said this is one of the first cases of vehicle tax evasion in the state where a chargesheet has been filed.

Chargesheet filed against actor and BJP MP Suresh Gopi for luxury car tax evasion
news Crime Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - 15:52

A chargesheet has been filed against actor-turned-politician BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi on Tuesday for alleged evasion of luxury car tax. Suresh Gopi is accused of using fake documents to get his luxury car registered in Puducherry in order to allegedly avoid the steep tax on luxury vehicles in Kerala. 

The chargesheet was filed by the Crime Branch in the Thiruvananthapuram court on Tuesday, soon after the MP got anticipatory bail in the case. If convicted, the BJP MP could face imprisonment up to seven years.

The Crime Branch police told TNM that this is one of the first cases of vehicle tax evasion in the state where a chargesheet had been filed. There is a total of 380 such cases across the state.

The Audi vehicle bearing registration number PY 01 BA 999 owned by the BJP MP was registered on January 27, 2010, in Puducherry. The former actor is accused of producing falsified documents claiming he had a leased residence in the union territory. However, neither the owner of the apartment nor the apartment manager knew Suresh Gopi nor were they aware that the actor had claimed to be a resident of the apartment.

A second car, also an Audi, was also registered in Puducherry in 2016 allegedly using falsified documents. However, a chargesheet with regard to this case is expected to filed later this week.   

The notary lawyer who had testified on the documents used to procure the registration has claimed that his signature and seal have also been falsified by the actor, reported Mathrubhumi. 

“If a person registers their luxury vehicle in Kerala, they have to pay Rs 20 lakh as vehicle tax whereas it costs just Rs 1 lakh in Puducherry. There is a racket that helps people get the registration done, we have not been able to catch them as there is no proof that a particular individual was involved,” said Josy Cheriyan, DYSP Kerala Crime Branch to TNM, 

It’s not just Suresh Gopi, there are many others who have been booked for vehicle tax avoidance cases. “Actors such as Amala Paul and Fahad Fazil were also booked, but Fahad changed registration from Puducherry to Kerala and paid the full tax. The state doesn’t press charges against those who re-register the vehicle back to Kerala,” added the officer.

The Kerala Crime Branch has closed the case against Amala Paul and Fahad Fazil.

Also Read: Luxury car tax evasion row: Cases against Amala Paul, Fahadh Faasil closed

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