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Pay tax promptly and punctually for etterment of nation: Madras High Court to film stars

Pay tax promptly and punctually for etterment of nation: Madras High Court to film stars

The Madras High Court recently slammed top film star Vijay for contesting the assessment of Entry Tax on his imported luxury automobile, Rolls Royce Ghost, stating that such a renowned actor is “expected to pay the tax quickly and punctually,” and should not be limited to being a mere screen hero. 

In addition to dismissing the appeal over the import of the automobile from England in 2012, Justice SM Subramaniam slapped a Rs 1 Lakh fine on Vijay, instructing him to pay the sum to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Covid-19 Public Relief Fund before two weeks.

Vijay, believed to be one of the highest-paid actors in Tamil film, is recognized for his big-ticket successes and commanding box-office openings. According to the Judge, the petitioner, C Joseph Vijay, has not even indicated his profession or occupation in his affidavit. He stated that the affidavit is devoid of these particulars, adding that the information that he was an actor was revealed only after Vijay's counsel mentioned it.

The Rolls Royce Ghost, a premium brand, is reported to cost a few crores, with accessible information indicating that its current market price may start at Rs 5 crore and rise from there. The petitioner purchased a renowned and expensive vehicle from England. However, the entry tax was not paid in accordance with the statutes. He filed a writ case to avoid paying the entry tax on the automobile he brought from England. The judge stated in a recent decision that, the petitioner, who is a well-known film star, is expected to pay the tax on time and in full.

The court further noted that the actor has enormous fan bases who regard him as a “true hero.” In the state of Tamil Nadu, cine heroes ascended to become rulers of the state, giving the people the idea that they are the true heroes. As a result, they are not supposed to act like reel heroes. The court made clear that Tax dodging is to be regarded as an anti-national habit, attitude, and mindset, as well as being unconstitutional. These performers are presenting themselves as defenders of social justice and portraying their images against corrupt actions in society. However, they are avoiding taxes and operating in a way that is contrary to the provisions of the Statutes, the court stated.

Vijay prayed in his petition for a writ of Mandamus to the respondents–the Home Department (Transport), the Assistant Commissioner (Commercial Taxes), the Assessment Circle, Chennai, the Regional Transport Officer, Chennai South, and the Motor Vehicle Inspector, Chennai South–forbearing them and their subordinates from exacting or collecting entry tax. He claimed that he had paid the import charge to Customs and that an unusual entry tax had been levied.

The court dismissed the petition and instructed Vijay to pay the Entry tax as requested by the respondents within two weeks of receipt of a copy of this decision, by modifying 20 % of Entry tax as imposed by this Court in the interim order of 17.07.2012, if originally paid. In the lack of payment of the entry tax by the petitioner within the specified term, the respondents were ordered to begin all further measures in accordance with the rules. Taxation was the foundation of the country’s economy, and tax is an obligatory contribution, not a discretionary payment or donation that one chooses. The judge went on to say that the Constitutional aim of social fairness can only be accomplished if persons of such prominence pay their taxes on time and act as true heroes in their lives.

“A person who pays taxes consistently and quickly is to be regarded as a true hero,” the court stated. The common man is inspired and encouraged to be a law-abiding citizen, pay taxes, and work hard to attain social fairness in society.

If the rich, prosperous, and renowned individuals fail to pay the required tax, then this Court notes, with anguish, that it would be a long way to attain the constitutional goals, the judge added. Accumulating money or owning the world’s most prestigious automobile, a Rolls Royce, would not help one achieve a comfortable life in “our wonderful nation,” the judge added, since our society is endowed with culture and social norms.

Thereby, the Court is of the subjective opinion that the petitioner’s non-payment of Entry tax cannot ever be praised, and the petitioner has not valued nor answered back to the lakhs and lakhs of his fans, who have paid by watching his movies, and from and out of such money, the petitioner/actor bought the world’s most prominent car for his individual use, he added.

Reputed persons should realise that the money reaching them is from the “poor man’s blood and from their hard- earned money and not from the sky.” The respondents were competent to collect Entry Tax and therefore,” the petitioner herein is also liable to pay the Entry Tax as per the claim made,” the court ruled.

Reputable people should understand that the money they receive comes from “poor man's blood and their hard-earned money, not from the skies.” The court decided that because the respondents were eligible to collect Entry Tax, the petitioner herein is likewise obligated to pay the Entry Tax as per the point raised.


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