In a setback to the organizers of the Sunburn Klassique electronic dance music (EDM) festival, the Bombay High Court bench in Goa, on Friday, barred the state Tourism Ministry from permitting the event until Rs 2.25 crore is not deposited by the organizers towards security deposit and back payments.
The order by Justices M.S. Jawalkar and Mahesh Sonak follows a petition by Trajano D’Mello, who has said that permission cannot be granted to the organizers of the EDM until they clear dues owed to the state exchequer for events held in the past in Goa.
“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 is acted upon only and only if the deposit of Rs 2.25 crore is made and not otherwise,” the order issued by Jawalkar and Sonak reads.
Sunburn Klassique, a franchise of Percept Live label Sunburn, is being billed as one of the biggest EDM festivals to be held in Goa this year and is scheduled to be held over two days on December 23-24.
Out of the Rs 2.25 crore, which the Court directed the organizers of Sunburn to pay to the state Tourism Ministry, Rs 1.5 crore covers a security deposit and “Rs 75 lakh is towards prima facile outstanding amount of Rs 1.38 crore towards commercial taxes and payment towards police bandobast (security) duty.
Sunburn EDM festival has been a regular feature in Goa during December but had run up several crores as dues to the state exchequer. Since last year, the festival franchised the Goa EDM festival to a subsidiary entity ‘Sunburn Klassique’.
“The aforesaid order has been made because, as observed by us in our earlier orders, every time when this festival is organized, the issue of clearance of earlier dues crops up. Every time we are informed that on this occasion, some different entity is organizing the festival. Prima facie, invariably, we feel there is nexus between the previous entity and the entity which proposes to organize this festival,” the order added.