Chennai, Jun 28 : The Madras High Court today said it “could not appreciate” the tax exemption to the Indian Premier League and sought a response from Tamil Nadu government on the issue.
It also directed the state government to file a counter by July 14 to a Public Interest Litigation that sought to regulate IPL matches in the state according to Tamil Nadu Entertainment Tax and Tamil Nadu Cinemas Act. The First Bench of the Madras High Court, comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam, also said prima facie it appears “there is no authority to regulate tariff of entertainment nor they (BCCI) are paying entertainment tax.
Tickets are sold at Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000.” Observing that “the grounds set by the petitioner appeared to be well-considered,” the judges directed the government pleader on behalf of state government to file its counter by July 14.
The PIL filed by Vasan, alias Sakthi Vasan, had contended that the matches conducted by the IPL “are for the entertainment of the public.” He submitted that the tickets for the IPL matches were being sold at exorbitant rates and the higher range of tickets are purchased by the rich and the affluent.
The petitioner said the state Home Department was the authority for regulating the tariff for entertainment, which he said would include the IPL matches, but the “department failed to regulate the (IPL) tariff.”
The petitioner further contended that the Commercial Taxes Department was not initiating any step to collect entertainment tax from IPL, BCCI and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) for the conduct of IPL matches in Chennai.
If entertainment taxes were collected from IPL, BCCI and TNCA, the same would augment the government revenue which would enable it to spend more on welfare measures, he said. The petitioner also said the IPL matches were usually day and night affair, which involve huge amount of electricity.
As of now, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board was embarking upon power cuts, stating it did not have enough supply to meet the demand, he submitted. PTI