HC takes up Sourav Ganguly's petition challenging tax claim


Taking up a petition by former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly challenging a service tax claim of over Rs three crore, the Calcutta High Court today directed the service tax authority not to take any coercive measure against him for three months.

Justice Tapen Sen directed the service tax authority to file an affidavit stating its position on Ganguly's plea within two weeks and directed the former cricketer to file his reply to it by another two weeks.

The court directed that during this period, no coercive measure should be taken by the authority against Ganguly. The matter would come up for hearing after three months, the court directed.

Ganguly has challenged the service tax claim of over Rs three crore, which was charged during his term with the Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL and playing for Team India.

While the original claim is of Rs 1.51 crore for the period between April, 2006 and March, 2010, another Rs 1.51 crore is in the form of 100 per cent penalty on the amount, according to counsel Amitava Mitra from the law firm Sinha and Company, representing the southpaw.

Ganguly decided to move the high court after service tax commissioner K K Jaiswal upheld the claim of the department in November, 2012. The claim was made in September 2011.

The service tax demand was made under two components -- business support service and business auxiliary service.

The claim for business support service relates to Ganguly's role in advertisements and other promotional activities for KKR. But he has already paid over Rs two crore as tax, Mitra claimed.

"Ganguly was also charged service tax for playing cricket for the Indian team and other playing interests during the term. But under the Finance Act, players are not liable to pay service tax on earnings from playing," Mitra stated.

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