Cable TV

Case by MSOs challenging Entertainment Tax to be heard on 27 May by DHC

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NEW DELHI: Three multi-system operators were given interim relief in January in the entertainment case issue. In January, the case was adjourned to 13 March and today has further been adjourned to 27 May by the Delhi High Court. However, the HC said that the stay order issued earlier in January to multi-system operators in entertainment tax issue will continue.

DEN Networks, Hathway Cable & Datacom, and Siticable had moved the court seeking protection against the Entertainment Tax Officer’s order to pay entertainment tax.

Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Mr Justice Siddharth Mridul gave the order on a plea by counsel for the petitioners.

DEN Networks, Hathway Cable & Datacom, Siti Cable and InCable were ordered to pay entertainment tax due since April 2013.

Orders were issued directing the four MSOs to file returns and deposit the pending tax amount with interest under the Delhi Entertainment and Betting Tax Act and Rules, 1996.

The MSOs argued that it was the local cable operator who should pay the entertainment tax. They had moved the Court to prevent any coercive action.

DEN and Hathway argued in the last hearing that they are not liable to pay entertainment tax from April since they have started consumer billing only from November. DEN also argued that the entertainment tax must be collected only on actual collections. The MSO also sought clarity from the tax department whether entertainment tax is paid on per subscriber or per set-top box (STB) basis. While Siti Cable adhered to pay entertainment tax, it challenged the quantum of the tax. IMCL 

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