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These actors are portraying themselves as champions to bring social justice in the society, but their acts are not in consonance, the court said.

Vijay sitting with his hands folded
news Tax Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 14:23

In a setback for Tamil actor Vijay, the Madras High Court dismissed a petition by the actor seeking direction to scrap collection of entry tax on his imported luxury car. The actor’s petition seeks a direction to “forbid authorities from demanding/collecting entry tax on his new Rolls Royce Ghost imported from England”. The High Court has also asked the actor to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Covid-19 Public Relief Fund, within a period of two weeks.

Vijay’s affidavit says that he had paid import duty on his Rolls Royce Ghost and that he had approached the Regional Transport Officer and the Motor Vehicles Inspector to get a new registration mark assigned for his vehicle. However, the authorities stated that he has to pay an entry tax for the vehicle following which a certificate will be issued. The actor in his petition argued that extraordinary entry tax has been imposed on the vehicle. 

Dismissing the plea, Justice SM Subramaniam said, “the petitioner has imported a prestigious costly car from England. But unfortunately not paid entry tax as per the statutes. He filed a writ petition in order to avoid payment of entry tax for the car imported from England.” The court added that “the petitioner, who is a reputed film actor, is expected to pay the tax promptly and punctually.”

The court also noted in its order that Vijay, who is the petitioner, had not revealed his profession or occupation in his affidavit. 

“However, the learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the petitioner is a reputed cine actor and that he has imported the said new Rolls Royce Ghost Motor Car from England for his usage. It is surprising to note that the petitioner has not even stated his profession in the affidavit. The affidavit is blank with respect to these particulars,” the order states. 

The court also added that actors who have large fan groups are seen as real heroes and some have gone on to become rulers of the state. “People are under the impression that they are the real heroes. Thus, they are not expected to behave like reel heroes. Tax evasion is to be construed as an anti-national habit, attitude and mindset and unconstitutional. These actors are portraying themselves as champions to bring social justice in the society. Their pictures are against corrupt activities in the society. But, they are evading tax and acting in a manner, which is not in consonance with the provisions of the statutes,” the court said.

The order went on to say that avoiding payment of Entry tax and keeping the writ petition pending for about nine years, "can never be appreciated and it is not made clear even now, whether the Entry tax as applicable has been paid by the petitioner or not."

Stressing on the importance of tax, the court added that the taxation system was the “backbone of the nation’s economy which keeps revenue consistent, manages growth in the economy and fuels industrial activity”. The order also states that “tax is mandatory and not a voluntary payment or donation which one decides on one’s own”.

“The tax collected from the Government is to carry out functions such as social welfare projects such as Schools, Hospitals, Housing Projects, for the poor etc. and infrastructure such as Road projects, flyovers, railways, ports etc.” among other things.

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