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HC stays warrant for Sushmita’s appearance in car import case

Thursday, Jul 20, 2017,12:43 IST By anju A A A

Chennai | The Madras High Court today stayed a warrant issued by a lower court here against Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen in connection with a case of import of a luxury car in alleged violation of the provisions of foreign trade policy.

When the petition by the model-turned-actress came up, Justice R Suresh Kumar directed the economic offences court in Egmore not to excute the warrant issued against her till the next date of hearing and posted the matter for hearing on August 2.

The matter relates to a case registered by the customs sleuths, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), on import of luxury motor vehicles by misusing the provisions of Transfer of Residence (TR rules) of the Exim policy.

Investigations revealed that one Haren Choksey had sold a Toyota Landcruiser, imported by another Vasu Pandari Thamala, to Sen.

Later, it was found that the car was imported by mis- declaration of the chassis number, year of manufacture and the value. Though the car was a 2004 model, it was declared as manufactured in 1998 to evade customs duties.

On January 24, 2006, the DRI had seized the vehicle under the provisions of the Customs Act, following which the petitioner (Sen) voluntarily deposited Rs 20.31 lakh as differential customs duty.

The adjudication authority then slapped a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on Thamala and Rs 10 lakh on Choksey in 2008.

As the car was cleared by Chennai port customs authority, a case was registered against Choksey and Thamala for evasion of customs duty in Egmore economic offences court here in which Sen appeared to provide evidence against the duo.

Subsequently, as Sen failed to appear for the next hearing to provide evidence in the court, the magistrate issued a warrant against her and posted the matter for further hearing on July 20.

Challenging the warrant, the actress moved the high court.