In a four part series, Onmanorama brings to you how the rich and famous in Kerala register premium cars outside the state, where taxes are lower. This is the fourth and final part.
Thiruvananthapuram: BJP Rajya Sabha member and actor Suresh Gopi claims he lives in Puducherry. Yet, the people in the area have never seen the Malayalam action hero anywhere near the house. Officers from the Kerala motor vehicles department investigating a racket of road tax evasion in the state were faced with a locked apartment when they traced the address Suresh Gopi had submitted while registering his Audi in Puducherry. The name of the resident is Venkitesh, the neighbors said.
The actor, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the BJP, is one of the rich and famous in Kerala who evaded paying tax in the state by registering vehicles in the union territory, where taxes are lower, using fake addresses.
They could get away by paying a fraction of the road tax they would have to pay in Kerala.
The official team from Kerala has come across incidents of flagrant violation of rules during their mission in Puducherry. As many as 607 vehicles bought in Kerala have been found to have registered in Puducherry using fake addresses. They include 350 BMWs, 52 Audis and 66 Jaguars.
The team has recommended the Kerala government to make it mandatory for automobile dealers in the state to require buyers to produce proper documentation from the revenue department while applying for a temporary registration.
The report, which was accessed by Onmanorama, has also recommended a follow up investigation into the way in which Suresh Gopi submitted a local address in Puducherry to pay tax there. He had given his permanent address in Thiruvananthapuram. He does not seem to have anything to do with the temporary address in Puducherry, according to the investigating team.
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