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Sushanth Prasad Versus The Principal Secretary To The Government, The Principal Secretary. Commissioner of Commercial Taxes

2016 (4) TMI 679 - MADRAS HIGH COURT

Seeking direction to grant entertainment tax exemption to the movie - After rejection of the application for grant of exemption of entertainment tax, now, by the new Government Order issued on 31.03.2016, the first respondent had taken a different stand stating that the petitioner's movie is entitled for exemption of entertainment tax only from the date of issuance of the Government Order i.e., 31.03.2016.

Held that:- when the petitioner had applied for the exemption on 16.12.2015 and .....

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overnment Order. The Order passed by the first respondent dated 31.12.2015 is proved to be erroneous, by the issuance of the present Government Order dated 31.03.2016.

By following the judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Lloyd Electric and Engineering Limited vs State of Himachal Pradesh and Others [2015 (9) TMI 370 - SUPREME COURT], order passed by the first respondent, is liable to be set aside. The petitioner's tamil movie "g[fH;" is entitled for exemption of entertai .....

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12 dated 9.1.2012 and of the first respondent in G.O.(D) No.529 dated 31.12.2015, quash the same and consequently direct the respondents to grant entertainment tax exemption to the movie "g[fH;", co-produced by the petitioner. 2. Pursuant to the Government Order (Standing) No.72, issued by the first respondent, granting entertainment tax exemption, Government Order (Standing) No.89, issued by the first respondent, laying down the condition for the grant of exemption of entertainment ta .....

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ames, mentioned in the Government Order, along with two official members, viewed the film and out of the six members, three members have given their recommendation in favour of granting exemption of entertainment tax and three members have given their opinion against the exemption of entertainment tax for the Tamil Movie "g[fH;". 4. Based on the Circular dated 09.01.2012, since the members are equally divided with regard to the grant of exemption, the first respondent rejected the requ .....

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, Mr.R. Muthukumarasamy, learned Senior Counsel, appearing for the petitiioner, submitted that the moive is scheduled to be released on 18.03.2016 and therefore, in the interest of justice, the respondents may be directed to constitute a fresh committe for viewing the movie and give their opinion to the respondents and based on the opinion of the Committee, the issue of exemption to the movie can be decided. 7. Since there are 22 members in the Viewing Committee, this Court directed the responde .....

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recommendation, for the grant of the exemption of entertainment tax to the movie. The respondents also filed a report to that effect before this court which was also taken on record. Since the five members Viewing Committee had given an unanimous report, stating that the petitioner's movie "g[fH;" is entitled for exemption for entertainment tax, this Court directed the respondents to process the application, submitted by the petitioner, for exemption of entertainment tax, taking i .....

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mmission of India for getting its approval. Further, it was represented that the respondents are expecting the approval from the Election Commission by the end of the said week. In view of the submissions, made by the learned Additional Government Pleader, the matter was adjourned to today i.e., 01.04.2016. 10. When the matter was taken up for hearing today, Mr.S. Kanmani Annamalai, learned Additional Government Pleader, appearing for the respondents, submitted that the first respondent has pass .....

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e exemption by granting the same from the date of issuance of the Government Order and that the exemption should be granted from the date of release of the movie. 12. The learned Senior Counsel, in support of his contention, relied upon the judgment reported in 2016 (1) SCC 560 (Lloyd Electric and Engineering Limited vs State of Himachal Pradesh and Others), wherein the Hon'ble Supreme Court held as follows: 14. The State Government cannot speak in two voices. Once the Cabinet takes a policy .....

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o implement the government policy and not their own policy. Once the Council of Ministers has taken a decision to extend the 2004 Industrial Policy and extend tax concession beyond 31-3-2009, merely because the Excise and Taxation Department took some time to issue the notification, it cannot be held that the eligible units are not entitled to the concession till the Department issued the notification. 15. It has to be noted that the Finance Department of the State Government had concurred with .....

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tax against its own policy. The State Government is bound by the policy decision taken by the Council of Ministers and duly notified by the Department concerned viz. Department of Industries. 16. That apart, it appears, the Excise and Taxation Department itself has not actually intended the notification to take effect from 18-6-2009. The definition given to the new and the existing industrial units in the Notification dated 18-6-2009 would indicate so. To quote: "Explanation I. - For the p .....

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; 17. Even otherwise, it is not altogether a new concession that has been notified by the Excise and Taxation Department in the impugned Notification dated 18-6-2009. As we have noted above, it is an extension of the 2004 Industrial Policy and the resultant tax concession to the eligible units which was available up to 31-3-2009. Therefore, for all purposes, what is notified by the Excise and Taxation Department on 18-6-2009 is an extension of the said concession beyond 31-3-2009 and that is why .....

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d the writ petition on 07.03.2016. As already stated, the movie was scheduled to be released on 18.03.2016 and it was represented by the learned Senior Counsel that the movie was also released on 18.03.2016. 14. After the rejection of the application for grant of exemption of entertainment tax, by its order dated 31.12.2015, now, by the new Government Order issued on 31.03.2016, the first respondent had taken a different stand stating that the petitioner's movie is entitled for exemption of .....

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