‘Reconsider tax exemption given to MJ show’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Reconsider tax exemption given to MJ show’

The entertainment tax exemption granted to the Michael Jackson’s charity concert by the Shiv Sena–Bharatiya Janata Party government in 1996 was with mala fide intention and aimed to benefit the Shiv Udyog Sena, a charitable trust run by the Sena, observed the Bombay high court on Wednesday.

mumbai Updated: Apr 14, 2011 02:09 IST
HT Correspondent

The entertainment tax exemption granted to the Michael Jackson’s charity concert by the Shiv Sena–Bharatiya Janata Party government in 1996 was with mala fide intention and aimed to benefit the Shiv Udyog Sena, a charitable trust run by the Sena, observed the Bombay high court on Wednesday.

The concert was organised by the trust Shiv Udyog Samiti, founded by Raj Thackeray, along with event management company – Wizcraft – at the Andheri Sports Club on October 30 and November 1, 1996.

Fifteen years after the concert, the high court set aside the tax exemption that had been granted and directed the state government to reconsider the exemption application made by Wizcraft.

A division bench of justice DK Deshmukh and justice AV Mohta also asked the government to reconsider the application expeditiously, preferably within eight weeks.

“It is clarified that in case the state government decides not to grant an exemption, than it (government) has to hold an inquiry to calculate the exact amount liable to be paid as entertainment tax,” observed the court.

The court also observed that till the government makes a decision on the application, the amount of Rs3.34 crore earned from the concert will be kept with the court registry.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Mumbai Grahak Panchayat challenging the 100% exemption granted to the concert after calling it a classical show. The petition alleged that the organisers had misrepresented facts to the state government following which the then minister for cultural affairs Pramod Navalkar granted exemption.

The court had earlier also observed that the only reason exemption was granted was for ‘charitable purpose which it was not.’