ASG mentions GamesKraft & batch GST matters before CJI bench, seeks listing on 15th July

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Additional Solicitor General (ASG) N. Venkatraman yesterday mentioned the GamesKraft GST matter before a three judge bench headed by the Chief Justice and sought a date after re-opening of the Court from vacations, i.e., on 15th July.

Although it was pointed out that 15th July is a Monday, i.e., a miscellaneous day, ASG stated that issues of scheduling and time to be given for each side along with other housekeeping issues may be decided on 15th July and a short date for final hearing may be given soon thereafter, to which the court agreed. Senior Advocate Harish Salve is expected to represent one of the petitioners.

Gaming companies are contesting retrospective GST notices seeking payments amounting to thousands of crores, calculated at 28 percent of the full face value.

The Supreme Court in April transferred to itself 27 writ petitions which are pending across nine State High Courts, challenging the levy of 28% GST on all forms of online real-money gaming with retrospective effect.

The Centre had sought the transfer of the petitions from the High Courts to the Supreme Court considering all these deal with similar questions.

The Court had also sought a response from the Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence in this issue. The petitioners include Dream 11, Games 24×7, and Head Digital Works.

In September last year, as the Supreme Court imposed a stay on operation of a Karnataka High Court order, the GST field officers issued notices of over Rs 1.12 lakh crore to online gaming companies for alleged tax evasion, prompting legal challenges.

The Karnataka High Court earlier quashed a GST intimation notice of Rs. 21,000 crore while holding that online or electronic or digital rummy played on Gameskraft, a gaming platform, was not taxable as a betting or gambling activity.