The Bombay High Court today refused to grant a stay on hosting the popular Sunburn Electronic Dance (EDM) Festival scheduled to start in Goa from tomorrow. Congress party’s Goa spokesman Sunil Kawathankar had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) before the High Court pleading that the festival be stopped accusing the organisers of tax evasion.The petition had alleged that the festival organisers were evading the Entertainment Tax on sale of tickets, which are largely done online and also differently priced. Sunburn will be held at Vagatore beach in Goa from 27-30 December.
Kawathankar, who argued in person before the single bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudesai here stated that the tickets were priced differently, dodging the Commercial Tax department which determines the entertainment tax collection. He submitted that the sale of online tickets also goes without any monitoring.
The petition had made state government, Goa State Pollution Control Board, State Commercial Taxes department and Percept, which organises Sunburn as respondents.
Additional Government Advocate, Nikhil Pai, defending the state government said an amount of Rs one crore has already been paid by Sunburn organisers as a part of the projected revenue. He also opposed petitioner’s grievances about the mode of computation of entertainment tax. The bench, while refusing to grant any interim relief, has now fixed the matter for January 12, 2015.