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Court threat to GP avoided

NEWS STORY
25/10/2013

The legal case which threatened the cancelation of this weekend's Indian Grand Prix has been postponed until next week.

India's Supreme Court was due to hear a petition today (Friday) seeking the cancellation of the race on the grounds that event organisers have not paid entertainment taxes for the 2012 Grand Prix. However, it has been confirmed that the hearing will now be postponed until next week.

"The hearing will now take place next week," an unnamed lawyer involved in the case told France's AFP news agency. "This means the race can go ahead."

Two years ago the Supreme Court froze 25 percent of ticket revenues until a tax dispute with the state in which the Buddh International Circuit is located. That particular ruling was in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Amit Kumar, the campaigner behind the latest petition.

In 2001 Kumar successfully argued that Formula One is entertainment and not a sport and should not therefore benefit from tax exemptions granted by the state of Uttar Pradesh. Entertainment tax, which is applicable for large scale events and sponsored festivals, has already been levied on tickets this year.

The threat of the event's cancellation was the latest in a series of blows to what was hoped would be one of the new mainstays on the F1 calendar. However, after just two races India will be missing from the 2014 schedule with many fearing that it won't return.

Organisers admit that as today's practice sessions got underway only 32,000 tickets have been sold for Sunday's race at the Buddh International Circuit, which has a capacity of over 100,000.

Check out our Friday gallery, here.

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