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No hope of escaping entertainment tax on that show fashioned by you
November, 30th 2007
Organisers of fashion shows cannot evade entertainment tax, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday. A bench comprising Justice CK Thakker and Justice Altamas Kabir said that the state of UP was entitled to levy entertainment tax on a fashion show for the selection of Mr Gorakhpur and Miss Gorakhpur.

The court accepted the plea of state which had said that the fashion show was held with full knowledge that entertainment tax was payable in respect thereof and that though tickets may not have been issued for the programme and only invitation cards were issued, the same was merely a subterfuge for the purpose of evading payment of entertainment tax.

Rejecting the plea of the appellant organiser of the show, the court said it was difficult to believe that the show was held with the object of educating prospective students who would be interested in joining the Institute of Art, Fashion Designing and Modelling and was, therefore, exempt under Section 11(3) of the Uttar Pradesh Entertainment and Betting Tax Act, 1979.

Conversely, as the advertisement indicates that the object of the show was to invite people to come and watch the new world of glamour and modelling and to see the world of exotic fashion in Gorakhpur, said the court.

The fashion show was held in July, 2000, for which a demand of stipulated entertainment tax was issued. It was challenged in the Allahabad High Court on the ground that the programme in its entirety was charitable and for an educational purpose, was exempted under Section 11(3) of the 1979 Act.

The High Court had held that a fashion show could not be said to be in aid of education and was only meant to entertain the public.
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