Adlabs Imagica — which has theme and water parks in Maharashtra and is owned by Adlabs Entertainment — got relief from the Bombay High Court on Friday in a case relating to denial of entertainment tax incentives post GST.
Abhishek Rastogi, the petitioner’s counsel, said the court ordered that a committee be formed with representatives from the Maharashtra government and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, and that the committee come out with a report on extending entertainment tax benefits to the company. The committee will determine the methodology for extending the benefits to Adlabs Imagica
The issue relates to subsuming of entertainment tax into the goods and services tax (GST) which deprived the company of the entertainment tax incentives it was promised by the state government and the corporation.
Entertainment tax collected from visitors used to be transferred to the company to incentivise it for its investments under the older tax regime in accordance with the tourism policy of the state, 2006. The two parks were promised Rs 8 billion of incentives till 2023-2025.
Hence, the company moved the court, saying it should continue to get the benefits under the doctrine of legitimate expectation and promissory estoppel.
The doctrine of promissory estoppel allows a party to recover the benefit of a promise made even if a legal contract does not exist.
Similar cases are also being litigated in other states. Courts in Allahabad and Jodhpur have also given relief to petitioners, Rastogi said.