Actor-producer Udayanidhi Stalin, son of DMK leader M K Stalin, has moved the Madras High Court against rejection by Tamil Nadu government of ent’ tax exemption to his latest movie “Nanbenda” alleging political bias behind the decision.
When the petition by Red Gaint Movies in which Udayanidhi is a partner, came up for hearing, Justice S.Vaidyanathan ordered issue of notice to Commercial Taxes Department and members of the viewing committee that recommends enterntainment tax exemption as per a government order passed in 2011 to films that promote Tamil language.
He also ordered that the collection of entertainment tax to the movie, acted and produced by Udayanidhi, was subject to the final result of the writ petition.
The petition prayed for appointment of an Advocate Commissioner to view the film and submit a report on whether it adhered to the criteria stipulated in the July 21, 2011 G.O and consequently deserves entertainment tax exemption.
Besides, it sought a stay on proceedings related to refusal of exemption of entertain tax to the movie.
The petitioner submitted that the very panel from which the committee members, including Babu, L R Eswari and M N Rajam, are chosen, has been under challenge before the Supreme Court and the case is pending.
These three persons have been enraged and antagonised by the filing of the the petition challenging their selection and have developed bias against the petitioner.
Even otherwise, the committee members constituted through a government order were extremely biased towards the petitioner for political reasons, it charged. These three persons were also part of the viewing committee which watched ‘Nannbenda’ and rejected entertainment tax exemption.
Further, it was alleged that Ramjee, a non-official member of the committee, was a reporter of ‘Makkal Kural’, an “AIADMK newspaper” and therefore carried a serious personal bias against Udhayananidhi since he is the son of Stalin whose party DMK is the principal opposition to the ruling party.
“The bias and mala fide intentions of the committee members is borne out by the fact that none of the movies of the petitioner has ever been awarded entertainment tax exemption by the viewing committee comprising the above members,” the petition claimed.
These movies had satisfied all the conditions and criteria laid down in the G.O. For entertainment tax exemption, the petition claimed and alleged several other films which did not meet the criteria had been granted the relief.
The Commercial Tax Department has opined that the movie contained several English words, scenes of violence, and sexually explicit scenes not relevant to the story line, and therefore was against Tamil culture and rejected exemption.