Maha told to reconsider tax exemption given to Jackson show

Observing that there was `malafide intention` in granting entertainment tax exemption to Micheal Jackson show, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed Maharashtra government to reconsider the application for exemption.

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011, 21:36 PM IST

Mumbai: Observing that there was `malafide
intention` in granting entertainment tax exemption to Micheal
Jackson show, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed Maharashtra
government to reconsider the application for exemption.

"The ruling Shiv Sena-BJP government had not applied its
mind before granting exemption to the concert in November
1996. The exemption was given with malafide intention to
favour a trust Shiv Udyog Samiti, which was run by the ruling
party itself," a division bench of Justices D K Deshmukh and
Anoop Mohta said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by an NGO, Mumbai
Grahak Panchayat, which alleged that there was an irregularity
in granting tax exemption to the show in 1996 organised by
event management company Wizcraft.

"The government did not conduct a proper enquiry before
granting exemption. Thus the order is set aside. The state
government is directed to reconsider the application (for tax
exemption) filed by Wizcraft and decide within eight weeks,"
Justice Deshmukh ordered.
According to the petition, Wizcraft along with a trust Shiv
Udyog Samiti founded by Raj Thackeray had misrepresented facts
to the state government following which the then Minister for
Cultural Affairs Pramod Navalkar had granted exemption.

The petition further stated that the government had granted
tax exemption after observing that it was a "classical" show.

"If the government had not waived the tax, the state
exchequer would have been richer by at least Rs 11.60 crore,
the amount Wizcraft saved on entertainment tax," the petition
stated.

PTI