Leading Tamil actor Vijay filed a petition on Monday at the Madras High Court to expunge the adverse remarks made against him by High Court Justice SM Subramaniam back in July 2021 after he sought an exemption from paying entry tax for his imported Rolls Royce Ghost car. In his argument, the actor's legal counsel asked for the judge's remarks to be expunged after submitting that Vijay had made the complete payment of Rs. 32 lakh for his luxury car, which he had imported from England in 2012. The single bench judge, who presided over the case in July 2021, had criticised Vijay for requesting a levy on the entry tax for his Rolls Royce car and ordered the actor to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh, including the entire entry tax for the vehicle.
"Tax evasion is to be construed as an anti-national habit, attitude and mindset and unconstitutional. These actors are portraying themselves as champions to bring social justice to society. Their pictures are against corrupt activities in society. But, they are evading tax and acting in a manner, which is not in consonance with the provisions of the statutes," the court stated in its order. In response, Vijay, who was upset by the judge's remarks, moved the Madras HC and sought for the remarks to be expunged, while also requesting for the fine of Rs. 1 lakh to be set aside. Vijay's lawyer stated in the Court in July, "Learned judge has cast aspersions on him (Actor Vijay) by labelling him as an anti-national and has cast aspersions on the whole acting community." Later, a two-judge bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and R Hemalatha stayed the earlier order, while asking him to pay only the entry tax after setting aside the Rs. 1 lakh fine. Vijay's lawyer also argued that the previous order carried "adverse remarks which created negative publicity for the actor."
On Monday, Vijay’s counsel Vijay Narayan informed the Court that his client did not evade tax payment, but made use of his constitutional right to question the levy of tax against him. He added that the single bench judge's remarks were "wholly unjustified against the actor and portrayed him and the entire film industry as anti-national although no such remarks were made against similar cases filed by other importers." Vijay's lawyer also pointed out that "it is not for the court to decide if a rich person should buy a car or a bungalow." He further stated that there are people who have bought private aircraft and added that "this kind of philosophy is not for the court to make."
Upon listening to Vijay's legal counsel's submissions, senior justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana queried whether the single judge's remarks had proved beneficial to the actor in terms of popularity. Vijay’s counsel conveyed his response and stated that the words have hurt his client. The actor stated that all he did was file a case with a lawyer, while adding that it is not a sin to do so. Vijay's lawyer followed up his reply and added that the remarks have not only damaged his reputation, but also projected him as some sort of a criminal. The two-judge bench then informed that the order has been reserved to a later date.
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