BANGALORE: In what could be termed as a major embarrassment to the State Government, the Karnataka High Court has quashed an amendment to the Karnataka Luxury Tax Act levying tax on clubs which offer accommodation facilities and equating them with hotels.
A Division Bench comprising Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice L. Narayanaswamy passed the order on an appeal by Bangalore Club and other clubs which had challenged a single judge order.
The single judge on September 30, 2005 dismissed petitions by Bangalore Club, Bangalore Golf Club, Century Club and several others challenging the levy of tax on them.
They said the amendment to Section 2 (4) of the Karnataka Luxury Tax Act was illegal and unconstitutional.
The clubs had contended that they could not be equated with hotels as they were private recreation units and were involved in a number of recreational activities.
Since many clubs were affiliated with similar organisations in other parts of the State and the country, they offered accommodation which could be utilised by members.
The State had extended the definition of a hotel to cover clubs and taxed those clubs providing accommodation facilities.
After a single judge dismissed their petition, the clubs had filed an appeal and urged the Bench to quash the single judge order.
The Bench accepted the arguments of the clubs and allowed the appeal.
It quashed the single judge order and held that clubs could not be equated with hotels in the matter of providing accommodation.
It quashed the amendment to the Act.
Bail plea rejected
Justice Ashok B. Hinchigeri on Tuesday dismissed a petition for bail by Manjunath, a 19-year-old law college student from Bangalore.
Manjunath said he along with several others were arrested by the Ramamurthynagar police on October 8, on the Ring Road near Banasawadi.
The police, he said, had claimed that he and his associates were readying themselves to commit dacoity.
He said the Additional Sessions Judge, Mayo Hall, on October 28 dismissed his plea for bail.
The State contended that Manjunath was involved in several cases and opposed grant of bail.
Justice H. Billappa on Tuesday ordered issue of notices to the Kannada Sahitya Parishat and other respondents on a petition by an employee of the parishat.
The employee said she was retired from service by the parishat after she completed 58 years.
She said the Government recently raised the age of retirement to 60 and since the parishat received grants and aid from the Government, it too was bound to implement the extension of service.
Bidari in court
Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, Shankar Bidari, was present in the High Court on Tuesday.
Justice Rammohan Reddy had sought the presence of the Commissioner as he wanted some records pertaining to the running of an educational institution in Bangalore to be seized.
The court adjourned further hearing of the case.