Panaji: Goa Bench of Bombay High Court on Friday ordered that the upcoming Sunburn Klassique music festival should not be permitted, till they pay the arrears, which is due on behalf of the organizers to the State government.
The bench comprising Justice M S Sonak was hearing a petition filed by Congress leader Trajano D’Mello pointing out that the organizers of the Electronic Dance Music festival owe money to the State government in the form of various taxes and charges.
The festival is scheduled to be held between December 27-29 at Vagator in North Goa.
“The court has said that he has to convey to Director of tourism that if Sunburn is held without recovering the dues, the directorate of tourism would be personally held for contempt of court,” Advocate Rohit Braz D’Sa, representing D’Mello told reporters in Panaji.
He said that the court has also ordered that if the due amount is secured, then the permissions which the Sunburn organizers, which they are supposed to get would have to be considered within 48 hours.
D’Sa said that this is third time that the petitioner had approached the High Court demanding that the Sunburn organizers should be made to pay the dues which they owe to the State government.
“In the year 2014, we had approached HC saying Sunburn is happening and despite arrears due to be paid to the state government, the permission is granted. HC passed order saying that the arrears be recovered by the State government,” he said.
“In 2016, we once again went to the High Court on the same ground. The Court once against issued th directions to the State government to recover the money from the organizers,” he said.
“In February, 2019, we filed the petition informing the court that arrears not recovered. At that juncture Rs two crore came to be adjusted, which were lying with the government of Goa, in the form of security,” the lawyer said.
“Inspite of this, the organizers were owing Rs 1.38 crore to the government. On December 17, 2019, we went to the high court again stating that government is going ahead without recovering the dues,” he said.
D’Sa clarified that the petitioner was not against the hosting of the festival.
“ When the petition came up on Friday, the court directed that the amount of Rs 75 lakh would have to be given as a part of earlier dues and Rs 1.50 crore which was supposed to be deposited for the upcoming event has to be deposited in the form of security,” the lawyer said.