Just two days away from its scheduled date — 19 November — the Coldplay-headlined Global Citizen Festival concert in Mumbai, India, has found itself the subject of a public interest litigation (PIL).
The PIL was filed by activists Anjali Damani and Hemant Gawande against the entertainment tax exemption granted to the event by the BJP-led Maharashtra state government. Event organisers pay around 45 percent of their total collections as entertainment tax, unless given an exemption by the government.
The PIL has also challenged the 75 percent concession in the rent for the MMRDA grounds, Bandra-Kurla Complex, where the concert is being hosted.
The Bombay High Court will hear the PIL against the concert on Thursday, 17 November.
The advocate for the petitioners told the HC that the concert is a commercial activity and no eligible for a waiver, adding that granting such an exemption was beyond the scope of the Bombay Entertainment Duty Act.
Earlier this month, Congress party members in Maharashtra had demanded that the Global Citizen Festival concert be scrapped or delayed, citing a 'violation' of the code of conduct in light of the upcoming civic polls across the state.
The BJP government had extended support to the concert to gain political mileage ahead of the civic body elections.
Funds raised from the Global Citizen Festival in India will be directed towards charity. Apart from Coldplay, a host of performances are scheduled for the evening, including one by rap mogul Jay-Z, and Bollywood stars like Ranveer Singh, Katrina Kaif.