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Mumbai: Willingdon Gymkhana booked for evading tax

According to the entertainment duty officer, the Santacruz-based club had not taken the required permission from the office for a performance by Abba Gold band to be held on November 1 from 6.30pm onwards.
Hindustan Times | By Swati Goel Sharma, Mumbai
UPDATED ON OCT 31, 2014 10:25 PM IST

Acting on a complaint against the Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana for allegedly duping the government of entertainment tax for a cultural event to be held on Saturday, the Mumbai collector’s office imposed a fine of Rs.1.9 lakh on the club after conducting a raid on Wednesday.

According to Sunil Bhutale, entertainment duty officer, the Santacruz-based club had not taken the required permission from the office for a performance by UK-based Abba Gold band to be held on November 1 from 6.30pm onwards. “We collected Rs. 2.4 lakh as penalty and as tax based on the number of tickets sold so far,” said Bhutale.

“A team of three to four tax inspectors will be at the venue on Saturday to keep a tab on the sale of tickets,” said entertainment inspector A Chipkar. Bhutale said that after assessing the crowd, further penalty could be imposed.The show is open for club members, their guests as well as the general public. The ticket prices vary from Rs. 700 to Rs. 2,000. According to club members, more than 2,000 people are expected to attend the event.

However, Sonia Thomas, the club’s general manager, said all required permissions had been taken. Joseph D’Souza, chairman of the club, told Hindustan Times he was not aware of any raid or the fine.

The club is also under the scanner for an event that was held on February 4 this year, in which US-based Bellamy Brothers had performed. More than 3,000 people had attended the performance, in which tickets prices ranged from Rs. 1,800 to Rs. 2,500.

In both these cases, Louis James Fernandes, a regular guest at the club, is the complainant.

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