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-Report by Sejal Jethva

In the present case MINAKSHI CHITRA MANDIR SAILU THROUGH ITS PROPRIETOR SANJAY PRABHAKAR RAJURKAR Vs THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA THROUGH THE COLLECTOR LATUR based on that petitioner is exempt from entertainment tax but still collects it from customers. Who received the money collected—the state or the petitioner?

FACTS:

In Sailu, District Parbhani, the petitioner operates a movie theatre that is now a multiplex cinema under the name and branding Minakshi Chitra Mandir, Sailu. The theatre in question is legally operated by the petitioner. The petitioner requested for an exemption from paying the entertainment tax after renovating the entire theatre in accordance with a State Government plan.

According to the Maharashtra Entertainment Duty Act, respondent number two Divisional Commissioner Aurangabad granted the petitioner a five-year exemption from paying entertainment tax from 26.6.2014 to 15.6.2019. When the entertainment tax was exempt, the theatre was inspected, and the inspector discovered that the tickets had the caption “entertainment tax” and that money had been taken from patrons towards “entertainment tax.” As a result, the petitioner was found responsible for paying the entertainment tax. Collector, Respondent No. 3, assessed the aforementioned tax at Rs. 7,97,514/-. In addition, Respondent No. 3 imposed a penalty equal to double the amount of the responsibility and mandated payment of a total of Rs. 23,92,542.00. The

PETITIONER’S CONTENTION:

The State is not permitted to collect the exemption from the petitioner under section 3 of the Maharashtra Entertainment Duty Act once it has been granted in accordance with section 9 (1) of the aforementioned Act. The knowledgeable attorney for the petitioner contends that because the ticket roles received approval from the relevant authorities, they are prohibited from requesting the entertainment tax’s deposit. The petitioner’s main and most significant argument is that once the entertainment tax exemption has been granted, even though the tax was mentioned on the entire value of the ticket, the respondent/State is not entitled to receive the entertainment tax, and the entire amount collected as ticket price, including the amount collected under the caption “entertainment.”

RESPONDENT’S CONTENTION:

Despite the petitioner receiving an exemption from entertainment tax, respondent No. 2 – Divisional Commissioner claimed that the petitioner was still obligated to pay the entertainment tax to the State Government because the amount was displayed on the petitioner’s ticket and was money that was taken from customers. The present writ petition is brought because the aforementioned orders of respondents Nos. 2 and 3 have wronged the petitioner.

JUDGEMENT:

1. Neither the petitioner is allowed to retain the money obtained under the caption ‘entertainment tax’, nor the State is entitled to receive the amount collected under the caption ‘entertainment tax’, as there is an exemption given by the State. The amount that the petitioner placed in this Court is not one that either the State or the petitioner is entitled to receive; therefore, the question of how best to use that money arises.

2. The deposited money in this case is used to acquire the defibrillator device, which will be done by a committee of three people made up of the Registrar (Administration) of the High Court Bench in Aurangabad, the President of the Bar Association of the High Court, Aurangabad, and Dr. Sanjay Varade, Medical Officer of the High Court Medical Clinic. Upon request from the Committee, the Registry will pay for the machine. The device would be used for anyone in need of emergency medical care and would stay in possession and under the supervision of the Medical Officer connected to the High Court Medical Dispensary.

3. The Registrar (Administration) of the High Court Bench in Aurangabad and the Medical Officer of the High Court Medical Dispensary. On the Committee’s instruction, the Registry will pay for the machine. The device will continue to be held in custody and under the direction of the Medical Officer assigned to the High Court Medical Dispensary, and it will be used for anyone in need of urgent medical attention.

4. Any remaining funds, if any, will be split equally between the Government Cancer Hospital in Aurangabad and the non-profit organisation “Shantivan,” which runs an orphanage for children who have lost their parents in Arvi, Tq. Shirur Kasar, District Beed.

READ FULL JUDGMENT: https://bit.ly/3Zs4iTc

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