The Madras High Court has come down heavily on actor Dhanush after he filed a petition to withdraw a plea filed in 2015 seeking exemption from entry tax for luxury car Rolls Royce purchased from the UK. Justice SM Subramaniam made some critical observations against the actor for failing to pay the tax despite the issue was settled by the Supreme Court in 2018.

Asuran First Day Collection at Box Office
Dhanush.PR Handout

What Judge Said?
Dhanush's counsel Vijayan Subramanian informed the court that the actor had paid 50 percent of the amount and was willing to pay the remaining amount. He also sought to withdraw the 2015 petition. However, the judge criticised the actor for not revealing Dhanush's profession in the plea and also for failing to pay the tax amount despite the Supreme Court's order in 2018.

"You are going to drive the luxury car on the roads laid using the taxpayers' money. Even a milk vendor and a daily wage labourer are paying taxes for every litre of petrol they buy. No such person approaches the HC seeking exemption from such taxes. At least I have not seen such a plea in my experience," The Times of India quotes Justice Subramaniam as saying.

The Judge further questioned the actor's advocate for failing to settle the issue despite the SC's order and observed Dhanush could have paid the tax first before trying to withdraw the matter.

The judge reminded Dhanush's counsel about the unnecessarily pending cases due to which the court has been overburdened. He adds, "This is only obiter dicta."

This is the second instance where the Madras High Court made critical comments about a Tamil actor in a month. In July, Thalapathy Vijay was slammed by the same judge in a similar case where he had sought tax relief for the costly car purchased in 2012.

Vijay's Rolls Royce Ghost
Vijay's Rolls Royce Ghost.PR Handout

Vijay's Case
Justice SM Subramaniam criticised the actor for failing to mention his profession in his petition and reminded Vijay that actors of his stature should promptly pay taxes as they are seen as role models.

The Madras High Court observed that taxes play a big role in nation-building exercise as it helps the government to carry out social welfare programs. "In the State of Tamil Nadu, cine heroes have risen as rulers of the State and therefore, the people are under the impression that they are 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," the court is quoted as saying by The Hindu.

Apart from criticising the actor, Vijay was asked to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh fine to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund. Later, he approached a division bench of Madras High Court which stayed the single bench judge's order admonishing the Bigil star.