The controversial Mini Cooper in Kerala is back in the news: The Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) has decided to seize the car owned by Karat Faisal, which was used by the CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan during the party's Jana Jagratha Yatra at Koduvally in Kozhikode.
According to the MVD report, the Mini Cooper has been registered under a fake address in Puducherry, which was done to hoodwink the tax authorities of nearly Rs 10 lakh, reports Mathrubhumi Online.
Vehicles which have been registered in other states/UTs, and which are used in Kerala, should be registered again within a year, and 20% of the vehicle's price should be paid as road tax as per rules.
However the car owned by Faisal was brought to Koduvally more than a year ago, but no change was made in the registration, neither was the road tax paid.
The vehicle costs Rs 44 lakh and by not registering in the state or paying the road tax, a loss of around Rs 10 lakh was reportedly caused to the department.
Now, the MVD has decided to seize the car and release it only after paying the penalty, the report says.
The department has also issued a directive that the car cannot be used in Kerala without changing the registration or getting the approval of the department.
Last week, the car was the centre of a controversy as the BJP and IUML had accused Kodiyeri Balakrishnan of using a car owned by a man allegedly accused in a gold smuggling case.
The Indian Union Muslim League state secretary MC Mayin Haji had said that Faisal is an accused in an alleged attempt to smuggle gold through Karipur airport and the case was registered by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in 2013.
However the CPI (M) has put the blame on its local leadership for not being cautious while getting the vehicle for the rally.