Actor Vijay, who faced the music from a single judge bench for filing a petition seeking exemption from paying entry tax on his Rolls Royce Ghost imported from England in 2012, today got relief from a division bench of the Madras High Court. The division bench comprising Justices S Duraisamy and R Hemalatha today stayed the judgment of a single bench that had imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on the actor besides issuing a critical verdict.
The high court had earlier allowed Vijay to challenge the single bench order and expunge the scathing remarks made in the order.
Appearing on behalf of Vijay, Senior advocate V. Narayan claimed that the actor was ready to pay the tax but no justification can be made for the adverse comments made against him. Narayan said that while the bench had dismissed many similar petitions but adverse comments were made only on the actor’s plea.
The advocate said that the judge cast aspersions on Vijay and labelled him as an anti-national. According to an Indian Express report, Narayan contended that out of 500 similar petitions involving luxury cars, the case of Vijay cannot be picked out alone. He also said that the remarks led to negative publicity.
After hearing the arguments, the division bench directed Vijay to pay 80 per cent of the entry tax within a week of receiving a new demand notice from the authorities.
A single-judge bench of Justice S M Subramaniam had dismissed Vijay’s plea saying that tax evasion is an anti-national habit, attitude and mindset.
Justice Subramaniam had said that while these actors portray themselves as champions to bring social justice, they are evading tax and acting in a manner, which is not in consonance with the provisions of the statutes. He noted that while rich and reputed persons fail to pay tax, the common man is encouraged to behave as a lawful citizen.
The single-judge bench had also noted that the money that reaches to the actors comes from the poor man’s hard-earned money and not from the sky.