Make government, Pawar respondents in IPL plea: Court

Posted by on May 5th, 2010 and filed under Business/Economy, Immigration/Law/Rights, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Mumbai, May 5 (IANS) The Bombay High Court Wednesday directed that the central government and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar be made respondents in a petition filed by a Shiv Sena leader, challenging exemption of Indian Premier League (IPL) matches from entertainment duty.

A division bench of Justice P.B. Majumdar and Justice R.G. Ketkar gave the directions and posted the next hearing in the case June 22.

The court also asked the central government whether Pawar’s association with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), a profit-making body, does not cause a ‘conflict of interests’.

The court was hearing Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai’s public interest litigation questioning the entertainment duty exemptions granted to IPL, which led to a substantial loss of revenue to the state.

The court also asked the additional solicitor-general to ascertain whether the central government has a code of conduct to determine whether a minister can hold an office of profit, Desai’s lawyer Balkrishna Joshi said.

‘If a minister holds a post in a cricket body, and the state cabinet has to take a decision on granting some exemption to the association… perhaps, a conflict of interest may arise,’ the judges observed.

Joshi contended that the state government exempted IPL from entertainment duty due to political pressure from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a constituent of the ruling Democratic Front government led by the Congress, though the state cabinet had decided to levy the tax last Jan 20.

BCCI’s senior counsel Raju Subramaniam said that Pawar currently did not hold any post either in BCCI or the IPL.

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