In a big relief to controversial Tamil actor Joseph Vijay, the Madras High Court stayed a scathing order passed by a single judge recently against the actor, asking him to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh for committing an alleged tax irregularity.
According to the reports, a Division Bench of the Madras High Court stayed an order passed by a single-judge bench of Justice SM Subramaniam asking him to pay Rs.1 lakh as a fine for failing to pay an entry tax on his Rolls Royce Ghost car he had imported from England. In a critical order, the court had asked him to be a ‘real hero’ and pay the due taxes after the actor had sought an exemption from payment of entry tax on his luxury car.
Imposing a fine, the court had also criticised Vijay for flouting the rules and had opined that tax evasion ought to be “construed as an anti-national habit, attitude, and mindset, and unconstitutional”.
In response to the court ruling, Vijay had challenged the fine and sought remarks against him to be expunged.
The actor’s counsel had stated before the court that he is not challenging the tax levy and is willing to pay the tax as early as possible. However, the actor’s counsel argued that the judge’s adverse comments against the actors has created aspersions in the mind of the public against the actor.
Hearing the plea, the Madras High Court bench comprising Justices M Duraiswamy and R Hemalatha granted the interim stay after the actor said he was ready to pay the entire tax amount but wanted the “uncharitable” remarks made by the single judge against him to be expunged.
The Division Bench also directed the Commercial Tax department to raise a challan demanding 80% of the tax amount since Vijay had already paid the 20% fine after another court had directed him to pay in 2012.
In 2012 actor Joseph Vijay had purchased a Rolls Royce car worth Rs.1.2 crore and had paid Rs.1.88 crore, or 150 per cent of the cost, as customs. However, he had challenged the Rs.40 lakh entry tax demanded by transport authorities. In 2012, he moved the Madras HC seeking exemption for the Entry Tax imposed on his imported Rolls Royce car.