The glamorous Amala Paul has been caught up in the luxury car controversy too. She surrendered before the crime branch office in Thiruvananthapuramon Monday. She had been indicted by the agency last year for using fraudulent documents to register her luxury car in the Union territory of Puducherry where the taxes on cars and registration charges are very low.
Amala Paul is not the only one who has bought a car in the UT. The agency is holding a major enquiry into automobile tax evasion fraud that has cost the Kerala state exchequer dear. The CB had charged Amala Paul with cheating, forgery and use of forged documents as genuine ones under section 420, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code. The offences are non-bailable and carry a punishment of up to 7 years of RI.
The star came to the investigating agency in a taxi, sporting a white shirt, dark jeans and darker sunglass. She had already got an anticipatory bail order from the court to prevent her arrest, which is why she may have turned up at the agency on Monday. The fate of about 5,000 others who have bought fancy cars from Kerala showrooms and registered them in Puducherry over the past two years is still unknown.
The UTs Lt Governor, the former cop Kiran Bedi is on record having criticised celebrities registering cars in Pondy and avoiding the tax they can well afford to pay in their home states. The buyers are obviously indulging in fraud to claim permanent residency in the UT, which is a prerequisite for registration. Actors Fahadh Faasil and Suresh Gopi, MP, are others under a cloud for similar transactions concerning luxury cars.