Madras HC dismisses AR Rahman's service tax writ petitiontext_fields
Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed the writ petition filed by music composers AR Rahman, CR Santhosh Narayanan, and GV Prakash Kumar.
The petitioners had challenged the proceedings against them for not remitting full-service tax by suppressing various receipts between 2013 and 2017. The judge said the issues raised in the petitions required the study of voluminous records including agreements signed with film producers. They cannot be addressed in writ proceedings.
AR Rahman in his affidavit claimed that the Commissioner of GST and Central Excise initiated proceedings against him wrongly. Relying on Section 13(1)(a) of the Copyright Act of 1957, he said he was the sole owner of the copyright of his musical works including songs and background scores composed for movies produced by others. He also argued that the permanent transfer of copyright could not be considered a service liable for tax.
The Commissioner said that the musician had not transferred the absolute copyright of his work and retained certain rights.
While the court did not grant them relief, Justice Anita Sumanth granted Rahman and Narayanan the liberty to file statutory appeals challenging the tax demand with a penalty within four weeks. The appellate authorities under the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act of 2017 were instructed to entertain them without looking at the limitation period, reported The News Minute.
The judge noted that GV Prakash Kumar approached the court prematurely. He was permitted to file a reply to a show cause notice issued by the Joint Director in the Directorate General of GST Intelligence in a month.