Days after Alappuzha District Sessions Court in Kerala granted anticipatory bail to Malayalam actor Fahadh Faasil in a case related to car tax evasion, the actor appeared before the Crime Branch in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.
Crime Branch had issued a notice asking Fahadh to appear for interrogation, for allegedly registering his luxury car on a fake address in Puducherry, thereby evading an enormous amount of road tax. Fahadh's Benz E Class worth Rs 70 lakh, was allegedly registered in Puducherry under a fake address.
According to reports, Fahadh appeared before the Crime Branch a little after 10.30 am on Monday for questioning. This was in compliance with the District Sessions Court's direction, asking him to cooperate with the probe. After questioning that lasted for more than 2 hours, the officials recorded his arrest. Fahadh was later released on bail.
The controversy began when a Mathrubhumi News investigation revealed that Fahadh 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.
Following the controversy, Fahadh paid a tax amount of Rs 17.68 lakh to the Motor Vehicles Department.
The issue of luxury car registrations in Puducherry to evade tax opened up a pandora's box, with other actors including Amala Paul and actor and MP Suresh Gopi being accused of doing so.
Earlier on December 21, Suresh Gopi had appeared before the Crime Branch for questioning. This was after the Kerala High Court directed him to appear for questioning, while granting him anticipatory bail. Reports stated that Suresh Gopi was questioned for around 2 hours.
In Suresh Gopi's case, he has registered his Audi Q7 in Puducherry by paying only Rs 1.5 lakh as road tax. Registering a luxury car in Kerala will cost the owner anywhere between Rs 14 lakh and Rs 20 lakh.