Almost 25 years after late pop star Michael Jackson’s concert was organised in Mumbai, the Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday cleared the proposal to waive off entertainment tax for the concert. The waiver to Wizcraft company was cleared, paving way for returning Rs 3.33 Crore to the organiser. The decision comes on the background of a long legal battle on the issue.
On November 1, 1996, Michael Jackson’s concert was organised in Mumbai. Shivsena was in power then. Citing existing laws, the government had waived off entertainment tax on the concert.
This decision was challenged by a consumer rights’ body in the Bombay High Court. During the hearing, the organiser, Wizcraft company, had to deposit notional entertainment tax amounting to Rs 3.33 Crore, in the court.
The matter went up to Supreme Court. In 2011, the court directed the state government to hear both the parties again, and then take a decision.
Thereafter, both the parties were given a detailed hearing from 2017 to 2019. The decision to grant waiver to the organiser of the event, Wizcraft, was taken thereafter.
“The then Sena-led government had taken the decision to waive off the entertainment tax, on the basis of existing rules. The same has been upheld now,” cabinet minister Subhash Desai said.