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Rolls Royce case: HC issues stay order, but asks actor Vijay to pay the tax

Chennai: On July 27, the Madras High Court heard an appeal filed by acclaimed Tamil actor Vijay regarding an order by a single judge, Justice SM Subramaniam, seeking exclusion of taxes on his 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost. Vijay’s appeal called for the expungement of scathing remarks made by SM Subramaniam while seeking to set aside Rs 1 lakh, to be deposited into the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Relief Fund as a fine.

The Madras High Court granted an interim stay on the order passed by single bench judge SM Subramaniam. The court has also ordered Bigil actor to pay the entire entry tax.

Vijay was fined Rs 1 lakh by the Madras High Court for his petition seeking tax exemption on his imported car, the Rolls-Royce Ghost, on July 13. Madras High Court heard the Master actor’s appeal regarding the order passed by the single bench, SM Subramaniam, and granted a stay of that order. The court also ordered Vijay to pay the entire amount of the Rolls-Royce Ghost entry tax. The order passed by the single bench judge was stayed by a bench of justices M Duraiswamy and R Hemalatha.

Vijay’s legal team had argued that Justice SM Subramaniam made unjust remarks against Vijay and the acting community as a whole when he said ‘in Tamil cinema, heroes have become rulers, prompting people to believe them as real heroes’. SM Subramaniam criticized Vijay’s actions, stating that ‘reel heroes take on corruption in cinema but act differently in real life’.

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The legal team was also of the opinion that though SM Subramaniam dealt with other cases of luxury cars with one-page orders, he made derogatory remarks in Vijay’s case. The appeal is based on the Supreme Court precedent in the Rolls-Royce Ghost case.

As per the legal team, Vijay was ready to pay the ‘Entry Tax’ on his Rolls-Royce Ghost, but every citizen is entitled to legal remedies to contest the imposition of tax. In contrast, making derogatory remarks against a petitioner who is seeking legal redress is unjust. SM Subramaniam’s remarks have also cast aspersions on Vijay, labeling him as an anti-national, and cast aspersions on the whole acting community as well.

Vijay was fined Rs 1 lakh by the Madras High Court for filing a petition seeking tax exemption on his imported Rolls-Royce Ghost, imported from England. In court, Vijay argued that extraordinary entry taxes had been imposed on an imported vehicle, and since he could not operate it without a valid registration certificate, he sought an exemption from payment.

SM Subramaniam dismissed the petition, directing Vijay to deposit Rs 1 lakh with the District Commissioner’s Covid-19 Public Relief Fund within two weeks of receiving the order. A deadline of two weeks was given to the Bigil actor for paying the tax due.


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