CHENNAI: In relief to actor Vijay, the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered an interim stay against the operation of a single judge order labelling him ‘anti-national’ for challenging the entry tax demand for import of a Rolls-Royce Ghost car from the United Kingdom in 2012.
A division bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and R Hemalatha that heard the plea, however, directed the actor to pay the remaining 80% of the tax within a week of receiving a fresh demand notice from the commercial tax department.
This follows Vijay's appeal against the order of the single-member bench of Justice SM Subramanian on July 13 imposing Rs 1 lakh cost on the actor for failing to pay the entry tax by making several adverse observations against the actor.
The judge had also observed that reel heroes should be real heroes in real life and tax evasion is to be construed as an anti-national habit, attitude and mindset and unconstitutional. After directing him to pay the tax, the judge had dismissed his petition.
On Tuesday, senior advocate Vijay Narayan, appearing for the actor before the division bench, argued, "He is not challenging the tax liability but wanted to expunge adverse comments made by the single judge against him."
He pointed out that the single judge had made adverse remarks only on the plea moved by the actor when similar such pleas were dismissed without any observations.
"The learned single judge had dismissed similar writ petitions without giving any observations. The judge had dismissed the present writ petition making damaging observations against the appellant and also imposing a cost of Rs 1 lakh," he argued.
"There was no justification at all for these remarks. In open court, the same order as others was passed, but when judgment came, all these remarks were made much to the shock of the appellant. The adverse publicity can hurt any human. He does not deserve this treatment," Narayan argued.
In the event of the tax authority issuing a demand challan to the actor claiming the balance 80% of the entry tax, he would pay the amount within one week, assured the senior counsel before the bench.
The bench recording the submissions made granted an interim stay to the order passed by the single member bench.
However, the bench in its interim orders also directed the authorities concerned to issue the demand challan in respect of the balance 80% of the entry tax to be paid by Vijay within one week.
The court adjourned the plea to August 31.