The Bentley car reportedly gifted by Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan to son Abhishek on his birthday has a temporary registration number and was obtained by Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh after paying a hefty customs duty of Rs 8.5 million, reveals Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf.
Yusuf said that the car arrived by air from London on January 31 and was registered at the Mall Road Transport Authority office in north Delhi on February 1. Amar Singh paid the customs duty on the car stating its value as Rs 17.6 million.
According to the minister, the Delhi transport authority has no record of the chassis number, the engine number, the name of the owner or address of the Bentley car that Amar Singh said belongs to him.
The vehicle, gifted on February 5 by Amitabh to his son in full media glare, has only a temporary registration number so far, explained Yusuf.
There is a special Delhi Police number, with limited access available only to the police, on which they can SMS the registration number of any automobile. The reply SMS comes within 10 seconds, giving details of the car - the chassis number, engine number and the name and address of the owner.
However, in the case of the Bentley DL 1T S 4851, the information is missing in the reply SMS as it has only a temporary registration number.
The car owner in the papers available is mentioned as Amar Singh, resident of Jalsa, Juhu Vile Parle Scheme, Mumbai.
In the normal procedure, a car owner should approach the Mumbai transport authority immediately after the car reaches Mumbai. But this has not been done so far. "Sooner or later, he (Amar Singh) will have to apply for a permanent registration and that is when the relevant questions will be asked."
After Abhishek was gifted the car, before a battery of news channels, he drove out with fiancée Aishwarya Rai to visit his grandmother recuperating in a Mumbai hospital.
Two days later, Amar Singh told newspersons that the car was not gifted to Abhishek but belonged to him.
This, sources explained, is because if the car is treated as Amar Singh's gift to Abhishek, who is not a blood relation, the actor would be under legal obligation to pay a hefty duty on it.
The issues will clear up only after Amar Singh approaches the Mumbai transport authority for permanent registration of the car.