HC grants pre-arrest bail to actor-MP Suresh Gopi

 The Kerala High Court today granted anticipatory bail to actor and BJP MP Suresh Gopi in a case related to alleged forging of documents to get his two luxury cars registered in Puducherry to evade vehicle tax in the state.

Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan directed the Rajya Sabha MP to execute a bond of Rs 1 lakh along with two sureties of the like amount.

He also directed him to appear before the investigating officer on all Saturdays.

Gopi had filed the anticipatory bail plea on December 12.

Last week, the court had directed the police not to arrest Gopi for a further period of 10 days in the case.

The prosecution had alleged that Gopi was using the cars in the state after evading payment of tax.

Earlier, following the court direction, Gopi had appeared before police in connection with the probe.

The police had registered an FIR against the actor on December 5, charging him with falsifying and fabricating documents by showing an address in the Union territory and getting the vehicles registered there, causing revenue loss to the Kerala government.

The FIR is pending before the chief judicial magistrate court, Thiruvananthapuram.

In his plea, Gopi said the allegations prima facie were false.

The actor said he had chosen to register the two vehicles in Puducherry where he owns agricultural land which was being looked after by family members, including his brothers.

The actor said he has a house in Bengaluru and his brothers have residences in Coimbatore and Tuticorin, so the vehicles were frequently used to ply within these states.

Police have alleged that the actor-turned-politician used a fake residential address to register his luxury vehicles in Puducherry to evade the 20 per cent tax in Kerala on luxury cars costing Rs 20 lakh and above.

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