Sushmita distances herself from Landcruiser import

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Mumbai, Jan 8 (UNI) Bollywood star Sushmita Sen has distanced herself from the controversial illegal import of her Toyota Landcruiser, which has almost invited prosecution for the former Miss Universe.

In a reply to a notice issued by the Bombay High Court asking her to explain as to why appropriate action be not initiated against her for alleged illegalities committed in import of Toyota Landcruiser purportedly using fake documents and further manipulation for getting the vehicle registered, Sushmita has said that she had no intention to defeat any provision of law and that she was not involved in import of the Landcruiser.

The court had on October 11, 2007 upheld Sushmita's petition for quashing order of the BMC's Joint Commissioner asking her to cough up more than Rs 23 lakh towards octroi and ten times penalty for importing the car.

At the same time the court had taken serious note of allegations made against Sushmita, including non-payment of custom's duty, preparing false records, registering the new car as used one, importing it under transfer of residence, mentioning wrong engine and chasis numbers, undervaluing the vehicle and submitting false declaration to the registration authorities and had issued the notice to her.

In the reply Sushmita has also said that, she had not indulged in any irregularities or illegalities or in any blameworthy conduct, on the contrary as a law abiding citizen she had approached the Settlement Commission on her own, when the Custom's officials raised an issue of under-payment of duties, and paid Rs 20,33,386 to them.

Thereafter, she had duly paid the octroi amount of Rs 2,16,988 when the BMC issued demand notice, she has added in the reply.

Besides, the actor has also stated that all the papers with respect to the vehicle were prepared by M/s Jai Mata Enterprises proprietor Haren Choksey, who had purportedly offered her the Landcruiser, and signed by him on behalf of Vasu Thamala, the alleged owner of the vehicle and an allegedly non-existent person.

She has said, she was shown registration papers of the Landcruiser before it was handed over to her and categorically made it clear that it was not specifically imported for her.

Meanwhile, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice J P Deodhar today issued a non-bailable warrant against Vasu Thamala and adjourned the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

UNI XR SR SB AS1848

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