A bench of Justice Pankaj Bhatia passed the judgment on a writ petition filed by Anandi Water Park Resorts and Club Private Limited. The bench set aside the amount of tax levied on the petitioner.
In his verdict, the judge observed, “The costume used in the water park would neither fall within the definition of words ‘instrument’ nor ‘contrivance’. Thus, I am inclined to accept the submission of the counsel for the petitioner that the renting of ‘costumes’ cannot be included in the term ‘payment for admission’ as defined under section 2(l) of the Uttar Pradesh Entertainment and Betting Tax Act, 1979 .”
The bench added, “It is well settled that the tax can be levied only when specially provided for and not by intendment. If the legislation was of the view that the renting of the costume should be included for the purpose of determination of the taxes, it could have specifically provided for under the Act which has not been done. Thus, I have no hesitation in holding that the demand for levy of tax as well as the penalty is without authority of law.”
The state government had imposed tax on the petitioner as it found that Rs 30 per male and Rs 60 per female member was being charged towards costume in the water park. The petitioner had challenged the order of the government, saying that imposition of entertainment tax was illegal as there was no provision in the Act.