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Court wants details

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the BCCI and IPL to provide detailed information about the income generated from the IPL matches in Maharashtra.

This direction was in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Shiv Sena MLA Subhash Desai.

A Division Bench of Justice P.B. Majumdar and Justice R.G. Ketkar wanted to know if the IPL is a “profiteering” venture.

Mr. Desai had filed the plea demanding that the State levy entertainment tax on IPL since it was not a charitable or educational venture. The court has asked the IPL to maintain proper accounts of the remaining matches in the State, apart from directing the BCCI and the IPL to furnish copies of their Constitutions, and memorandum of articles by April 26.

It has also directed the BCCI to state how it “controls the IPL.”

The Bench was shocked by the exorbitant ticket rates, as high as Rs. 40,000 in some cases, and the consumption of electricity in a power-starved State during the matches which are held at night. It wanted to know if the IPL was an entertainment or a sports activity.

The court took serious note of the fact that industrialists were party to the IPL and questioned the State government's exemption to it from entertainment tax. The BCCI was also ticked off for its casual approach towards the case since it had not appointed a solicitors' firm and had sent an advocate, Neha Bhide.

It also said that if it decided in favour of levying tax on IPL, it could do so with retrospective effect.

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