Sharad Pawar can be made a party in PIL over IPL controversy: Court

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Mumbai, May 5 (ANI): Hearing a public interest litigation petition, seeking levy of entertainment tax on Indian Premier League matches, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed impleading the Union Government and asked the petitioner to make Union Minister Sharad Pawar a party if he wanted to make allegations against him.

A Division Bench of Justices P.B. Majmudar and R.G. Ketkar while hearing the PIL filed by Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai today made the directions.

The Bench also observed that: "If a minister holds a post in a cricket association, and the state cabinet is to decide on granting some exemption to the association...perhaps conflict of interest may arise."

The Bench sought the Centre's view on whether any "conflict of interest" arose if a minister was a member of a cricket body.

Subhash Desai has reportedly stated that the State Cabinet decided in January this year to impose entertainment tax on IPL matches, but the decision was never implemented, causing revenue loss to the cash-strapped Government.

However, Board of Control for Cricket in India's senior counsel Raju Subramaniam clarified that Mr. Pawar currently had no connection with the BCCI or IPL, though he had headed the apex cricketing body two years ago.

During its last hearing, the court had sought a reply from the State as to whether any code of conduct existed for ministers becoming members of sports bodies. (ANI)

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