THE BOMBAY High Court on Thursday held as “justified” the Rs 7-crore entertainment tax that was waived for the organisers of the Global Citizen Festival, in which international band Coldplay and artists JayZ and pop singer Demi Lovato had performed in November 2016.
A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N M Jamdar said, “If the organisers of an event make personal profits then the decision to waive the tax could possibly be faulted but whereof funds generated are used for social cause, the tax being waived would be justified.”
The court was hearing a petition moved by social activist Dattatraya Mane, who had taken exception to the waiver given to the organisers of the festival held at MMRDA grounds in BKC to pay entertainment tax leviable under the Bombay Entertainments Duty Act, 1923.
Advocate Siddhesh Pilankar, appearing for the petitioner, relied upon the objection expressed by the state finance department, while reasoning that the government had inadequate funds and thus, the waiver was not justified. “Suffice it to state that any waiver of a tax or a levy would obviously adversely impact the corpus of the state, but this is not the sole criteria on which decisions have to be taken,” the bench said.
While dismissing the petition, it added, “Thus, we cannot hold that the decision to waive the tax was unreasonable.”