On Thursday Madras High Court declined to interfere with Tamil Nadu Government’s order granting entertainment tax exemption to Rajinikanth’s latest upcoming film “Kochadaiyaan“, which is set to release today on 23rd May 2014.
As per the Tamil Nadu Entertainments Tax Act 1939, new films have to pay 15 percent of their total as entertainment tax, on the other hand old films have to pay only 10 percent.
Government of Tamil Nadu has been giving tax exemption to films since 2006, for those movies which have Tamilian titles and the movies based for the promotion of Tamil language and its culture.
Recently released films such as Vadivelu’s comeback film Tenaliraman and ‘Ennamo Edho’ were tax free, on 12th May 2014 government order was issued extending the tax benefit to Kochadaiyan. Assailing the move, that too while a batch of PILs against the tax exemption practice while the matter was pending in the high court, a PIL was filed by advocate S Muthiah stating that it was improper for the government to exempt the film from the tax net.
The bench ordered that authorities and exhibitors by refusing to interfere with the government’s decision that they should not demand and collect entertainment tax from the public.
According to judges that they will pass an interim order directing the authorities as well as their agents, including the exhibitors, from collecting any tax for which the exemption has been granted by the order impugned. The matter to be heard along with the pending PILs.
In his PIL, Muthiah mentioned that on May 6 the government of state issued a circular stating that tax exemption given to a film would be applicable only from the date of grant of exemption and not before that. Which made it clear that the price as fixed by the government alone should be charged and collected. Whereas on 12th May 2014 the impugned order of tax exemption was issued, thereby denying the tax exemption benefit to lakhs of Rajni’s fans who had already booked their tickets online and in theaters.