The Kerala Crime Branch is set to book National Award-winning actor and BJP Rajya Sabha member Suresh Gopi and multilingual actress Amala Paul on charges that they evaded taxes running into several lakhs by registering their luxury cars in Puducherry. Crime Branch sources said the charge sheets will be submitted in court within a month.
Actor Fahadh Faasil was also accused of such tax evasion, but since he paid the penalty of Rs 17.68 lakh, the government will consider if the proceedings need to be pressed.The police team have found that Suresh Gopi and Amala produced fake proof for vehicle registration in Puducherry. It is clear that both of them registered vehicles in the union territory with the intention of evading the Kerala taxes, which are higher, the police insist.
The Crime Branch, therefore, is planning to charge them with fabrication of documents and tax evasion. Charge sheets will also be filed against nine car showrooms which assisted the stars in the crime. The police team made it clear that action will be taken against other Puducherry-registered car owners also, who haven’t paid penalties despite being allowed time to do it.
The MP’s arrest was recorded earlier, but he was let off after two people stood bail and a bond of Rs 1 lakh was furnished. The case against him is that he evaded taxes to the tune of Rs 30 lakh by registering two cars at a fake address in Puducherry. One of these cars was bought in 2010 and the other after he became an MP.
Suresh Gopi had claimed that he owns agricultural land in the UT and that the address provided for registration was that of his rented accommodation there. However, the Crime Branch says the claim has been found to be false.
Amala, who hails from Aluva in Kerala, was also questioned by the Crime Branch earlier. The police team has found that the actress had registered her luxury car in Puducherry in a bid to evade the huge tax she would have had to pay in her home state.
The police also found that she too used a fake address for the registration. Amala had claimed that she had rented a house in Puducherry so that she could stay stay there when she goes there for shooting, and that the address provided was that of this accommodation.
However, the Crime Branch sleuths had checked on the address earlier, and reached the conclusion that the house is not given on rent regularly. It is a three-storey apartment complex where several families live. Some others have also registered their cars in the same address. Neither has the actress produced any document that substantiates her claim. The police team, hence, was certain that she was lying.
The state motor transport department had allowed time for tax-evading vehicle owners to pay a penalty and transfer vehicles to the Kerala registration. The action is being considered against those who failed to utilise the provision.