The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, along with several restaurant and bar owners, moved the Bombay high court on Tuesday challenging the validity of the amended Bombay Entertainment Duty Act, which requires them to shell out Rs50,000 every month as entertainment tax.
The court, while adjourning the hearing, issued a notice to the state government, as the state was not represented in court on Tuesday.
The petition states that permit rooms and beer bars with live orchestra are required to pay Rs500 to the police authority everyday, Rs1,83,500 towards yearly fees under the Bombay Police Act, Rs3,63,000 as yearly excise licence fees to the Collector and Excise Commissioner and Rs25,000 to the municipal corporation, apart from the salaries to their servants and orchestra.
The imposition of Rs50,000 without considering the area, place, strength, gross income of individual restaurants is completely arbitrary and unjust, the petition says. It also points out that the state has not permitted petitioners to increase number of people in the orchestra.
IHRA states that even though they made requests to the government to look into the issue, nothing has been done till now.
“The court has issued notices to the state and the advocate general,” said Rajendra Raghuvanshi, the petitioners’ counsel.