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BTC matter adjourned to Thursday

  June 12 , 2024

The Karnataka High Court has adjourned the hearing of the Bangalore Turf Club`s (BTC) writ petition seeking the restoration of its license, which was refused from April 1, to Thursday. The BTC`s principal argument concerned the conduct of racing without the involvement of bookmakers. The Central Crime Branch (CCB) conducted extensive raids on bookmakers, resulting in a chargesheet being filed against 91 individuals associated with the bookmakers and three BTC officials, namely Chairman Aravind Raghavan, CEO M.K. Kiran, and betting ring supervisor Vijay Narasimha.

The BTC contended that the lack of a license adversely affected stakeholders and others dependent on racing for their livelihood. The club expressed its willingness to conduct races without bookmakers, identifying them as the primary reason for the government`s withdrawal of the license due to significant evasion of GST and other taxes owed to the government.

Despite the chargesheet filed against the three BTC officials, no determination has been made regarding their exclusion from participation in racing due to their alleged collusion with the bookmakers.

Justice Krishna Kumar meticulously heard the arguments presented by the petitioners, which included various entities such as the Bangalore Turf Club, Karnataka Racehorse Owners Association, and Karnataka Trainers Association. After the petitioners concluded their arguments, the Advocate General began his submissions. However, due to time constraints, the matter was postponed for further hearing on Thursday afternoon.

The government has firmly denied the issuance of the license, as detailed in its comprehensive order, citing BTC`s alleged collusion with the bookmakers to evade taxes. The government audit has estimated a tax evasion of Rs 386 crores. The bookmakers challenged the CCB`s investigation in the High Court, claiming a lack of jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the judge ruled that the prima facie findings of the enquiry appeared grave and authorized the CCB to proceed with filing the chargesheet.

As Bangalore is the sole racing centre active during the summer season, the suspension of races due to the absence of a license has caused significant distress. Stakeholders are struggling to cope with the situation and hope a favourable court order will rejuvenate their efforts. The ongoing expenses for maintaining a horse are prohibitively high without the revenue generated from stake money and related betting activities. The Judge also opined that in the dispute between the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) and the government, the stakeholders have been adversely affected.

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Total Comments : 1
Posted by K. Vijayakumar. on ( June 12 , 2024 )
Whatever is said and done, the entire stake money is generated solely from punters and the business is run at the cost of punters. Without punters the racing industry is nothing and will be recuced to rubbles. So give due importance to the punters always.

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