The Indian Premier League organisers could now face a public interest litigation (PIL) over payment of entertainment tax in Maharashtra. Senior Shiv Sena leader and MLA, Mr Subhash Desai, has filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court, seeking such a levy on the cricketing event. The Board of Control for Cricket in India; the Commissioner of the IPL, Mr Lalit Modi, and the Maharashtra Government are the respondents in his petition.

Mr Desai has said that at least Rs 15 crore could be recovered from the organisers as taxes. He told reporters at the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday that IPL matches were only entertainment with Bollywood stars, cheerleaders and an “occasional game of cricket”. Hence, the matches should not be exempted from entertainment tax, he said. “Maharashtra’s finances are under tremendous strain and even Rs 15 crore can be used for development work,” Mr Desai added.

When States such as Punjab and New Delhi levy entertainment tax, there was no reason for Maharashtra to give an exemption, he said.

In his petition, Mr Desai has said that between 2007 and 2010, the State recovered Rs 1,159 crore as entertainment tax, which is substantial revenue.

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