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Coldplay makes its Indian debut after overcoming a legal challenge

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 22 November 2016

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The British band has made its Indian debut following a legal challenge in the High Court of Bombay.

Coldplay’s performance was part of the non-for-profit Global Citizen festival. The Global Citizen festival aims to create awareness of gender equality, education and clean water; as such the Maharashta state government had waived the entertainment duty on the festival.

However, this is what the legal challenge focused on. Anti-corruption activists challenged the decision by the state government arguing that Coldplay’s performance was not an educational or charitable activity. The Bombay Entertainments Duty Act 1923 requires that the activity be educational or charitable in order to be exempt from entertainment duty.

Judges Manjula Chellur and MS Sonak in the High Court of Bombay agreed with the decision of acting advocate-general Rohit Deo. The advocate-general explained that the festival “is going to be an eight-hour programme, and the concert by Coldplay is just part of it. The festival is to create awareness of three subjects: gender equality, education and clean water”.

An estimated 80,000 people attended the festival; many of the tickets were given free to people who had demonstrated their commitment to positive societal change. 

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