No Sunburn until organisers pay deposit of Rs 2 cr: HC

No Sunburn until organisers pay deposit of Rs 2 cr: HC

Bombay High Court. (File Photo)

The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court in an order on Friday told the Organisers of Goa’s biggest EDM festival, Sunburn Klassique, to pay Rs 2.25 crore in form of the deposit towards back payments owed to the Goa government. 

The Court in its order also directed the tourism ministry, not to grant any permissions to the organisers of the two-day festival, if they fail to pay the amount.  

“If, the aforesaid amounts are indeed deposited, then, and only then, the permission granted by the state government shall take effect. The Director of Tourism will ensure that the permission are acted upon only and only if the deposit of Rs 2.25 crore is made and not otherwise,” states the order issued by Justices M S Jawalkar and M S Sonak.

While Rs. 1.5 crore is in the form of a security deposit, Rs. 75 lakh is “towards prima facie outstanding amount of Rs 1.38 crore towards commercial taxes and payment towards police bandobast duty”. 

Over the years, the Sunburn EDM festival has been one of the most sought after music events held in Goa, attracting thousands of contemporary music lovers from Indian cities, especially Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

The festival in the past has drawn some of the world’s biggest names in the EDM genre including Armin van Buuren and David Guetta. 

However, after the organisers of the event Percept Live ran up crores in dues towards the state exchequer in form of taxes and payment for police security arrangements, the organisers operated the festival in Goa through a franchise Sunburn Klassique. 

The High Court order points out a “nexus” between the two main organising labels and the franchise.  

“The aforesaid order has been made because, as observed by us in our earlier orders, every time when this festival is organised, the issue of clearance of earlier dues crops up. Every time we are informed that on this occasion, some different entity is organising the festival. Prima facie, invariably, we feel there is nexus between the previous entity and the entity which proposes to organise this festival,” the order states.

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