Demanding to know whether the Indian Premier League (IPL) was a profit making venture, the Bombay High Court on Thursday warned the Indian cricket board that it would order the Maharashtra government to recover entertainment tax from the IPL for the current season and also the previous two seasons.
A division bench comprising Justice P.B. Majumdar and Justice Rajesh Ketkar sounded the caution when the lawyer for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Neha Bhide said that in view of the ongoing Income Tax Department action on IPL franchises, the cricket board had no time to engage a solicitor’s firm for the case.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by senior Shiv Sena leader and legislator Subhash Desai demanding that the state government should levy entertainment tax on the IPL’s T-20 matches played in the current third season.
The judges also directed the IPL and BCCI to provide details of income generated from its matches played in Maharashtra, and their respective constitutions.
The court also directed the IPL to maintain accounts and other details of the ongoing matches in the current third season. Desai also contended that though the state government had decided to levy entertainment tax on IPL, it was not yet implemented.
However, the government pleader D. Nalavade informed the court that the matter of levying entertainment tax was only discussed and no decision has been taken on the issue.
The PIL will come up for further hearing next Monday, April 26, when a crucial meeting of the BCCI is scheduled to decide the fate of beleaguered IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi