Chennai: The Madras high court on Wednesday directed former Miss Universe and actor Sushmita Sen to appear before the trial court in Egmore on September 18 to give evidence in connection with a case relating to import of a luxury car.
Disposing of a petition from Sushmita Sen, challenging the warrant issued against her by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Economic Offences-I), Egmore, Justice R. Suresh Kumar said considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioner is directed to appear before the trial court on September 18, which falls on Monday for providing evidence.
“On the said date, the trial judge after concluding matters by calling and emergency matters shall take up this matter and cross-examine the petitioner. The same shall be completed on the same day itself,” the judge added.
The judge also directed the jurisdictional police concerned to give adequate protection to her and her belongings. The police shall ensure full safety and security of the petitioner. “In view of the above, the order of warrant executed against the petitioner shall be cancelled”, the judge added.
The matter relates to a case registered by the assistant commissioner of customs, prosecution unit (sea) sleuths from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Mumbai zonal unit, on the import of luxury motor vehicle by misusing the provisions of Transfer of Residence scheme. It was found that the first accused, Haren Choksey, sold a Toyota Land Cruiser imported by the second accused, Vasu Pandari Thamala who sold it to Sen.
On January 24, 2006, the DRI seized the car under the provisions of the Customs Act, following which Sushmita Sen voluntarily deposited `20.31 lakh as a differential customs duty. The adjudication authority, then imposed a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on Thamala and Rs 10 lakh on Choksey in March 2008. As the car was cleared by Chennai port customs authority a case was registered against Choksey and Thamala for evading customs duty ACMM (EO-I), before which Sushmita Sen appeared to provide evidence against the duo. As she failed to appear subsequently to provide evidence, the trial court issued a warrant against her.