A Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday deferred the verdict on a writ petition filed by Tamil actor Vijay requesting the court to do away with adverse remarks made by the single-bench judge against him in July 2021 in connection with a plea over exempting entry tax for his Rolls Royce Ghost.
Vijay's legal counsel Vijay Narayan made an elaborate argument to explain to the court that the single-bench judge Justice SM Subramaniam made unjustified remarks against the actor and portrayed him along with the film industry as anti-nationals.
Narayan explained that Vijay approached the court since a few importers approached the court and got favourable verdicts, but the Supreme Court in 2017 said that the state governments are entitled to levy entry tax following which the Madras High Court started dismissing all pending writ petitions simply by asking the importers to remit the full tax amount.
However, the Justice SM Subramaniam in Vijay's case took an objection on his plea and made adverse remarks, mainly for not disclosing his profession. "I had not evaded any tax. I had only exercised my constitutional right to challenge levy of tax like all others. Every body was filing cases against levy of entry tax at that time and I also did the same because that was the law from 2005 to 2017. If demand of tax is unconstitutional, certainly I have a right to come to court and challenge it," The Hindu quotes the lawyer as saying on behalf of the actor.
Narayan informed the court that Vijay has already paid entry tax to the Commercial Taxes Department on 7 August and requested for the expunge of the remarks made by the single-bench judge. He argued that the actor had not committed a sin.
"I don't think it is for the courts to decide whether a rich person should buy a car or a bungalow. There are people who buy aircrafts. Therefore, this kind of philosophy is not for court to make," Mr. Narayan said while urging the court to set aside Rs 1 lakh fine imposed by the single judge who directed the actor to pay it to the Chief Ministers Public Relief Fund.
Judge's Critical Comments
Justice SM Subramaniam had slammed Vijay advising him to pay taxes as it plays a major role in nation-building exercises. "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 was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
The judge stated that the heroes portray themselves as the champions of justice in films and slam the corruption in our system, but they evade tax in real-life "which is not in consonance with the provisions of the Statutes." Check Out the Full Story on Judge's Critical Comments