ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS Superstar Rajinikanth on Wednesday suffered an embarrassment after the Madras High Court warned him of imposing costs for rushing to the court seeking waiver of property tax of Rs.6.5 lakh levied by the Greater Chennai Corporation for a marriage hall owned by him.
The actor, in a writ petition, argued in the Madras High Court that he was entitled to vacancy remission as he did not rent out the marriage hall for the past six months due to Corona Virus pandemic.
Hearing the petition, Justice Anitha Sumanth of the Madras High Court warned the Annaththe hero of imposing costs for rushing to the court. “The court informed that we should have sent a reminder to the Greater Chennai Corporation before filing the writ. Hence the writ petition is withdrawn,” Advocate Vijayan Subramanian, The writ petition stands withdrawn now.
According to the petition filed by his advocate Vijayan Subramanian, Rajinikanth has been a regular tax payer and has paid the property tax for his Raghavendra marriage hall at Kodambakkam in Chennai without any due. He finally paid the tax dues for the period 2019-2020 on February 14, 2020. As the government declared a 21-day lockdown in March, the marriage hall was closed for marriage functions and other events. As a result, the hall remained vacant and was not rented since March 24. He had also repaid the money collected from those who had done advance booking, as per the government instructions, the actor said in the petition.
Rajinikanth received the property tax notice from the Greater Chennai Corporation on September 10, asking him to pay Rs.6.50 lakh property tax for the months from April through September.
The actor, stating that he had cancelled all the bookings and the marriage functions which were supposed to be held in the marriage hall due to lockdown, said he had refunded all the advance money taken from the customers as per the government instructions. In the petition, he said he is entitled for vacancy remission on property tax as per section 105 of the Chennai city Municipal Corporation Act 1919. On September 23, the actor had sent a notice in this regard to the Chennai corporation, but there was no reply, he said in the writ petition.
“The corporation, being a statutory authority is duty bound to consider and dispose petitioners notice dated 23/09/2020. In the meantime, the corporation has announced penalty would be collected with interest from property owners who fail to pay property tax between October 1 to October 15,” the petition added.
Earlier in January this year, the Income Tx department withdrew an appeal against the actor imposing Rs 66.22 lakh penalty imposed in connection with the assessment of his income for three consecutive years from 2002-2005. The appeal was then withdrawn in view of a circular issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) dated September 8, 2019 which directed the income tax department not to go on appeal in cases valued before Rs 1 crore. Again in 2017, in yet another case, the Madras High Court, in December 2017 had fixed an ultimatum of one month for his wife Latha Rajinikanth to give consent for enhancement of monthly rent from Rs 3,702 to Rs 21,160 for a shop taken on lease by her from the Chennai corporation for an overseas travel agency.
Meanwhile, hours after the judgment, the Chennai corporation has announced a gratitude of Rs 4.56 crores for the 5,18,286 property holders in Chennai who had paid their property dues on time, till October 10.