Bombay HC to hear OOH licence fee waiver case on June 12

If the verdict favours the out-of-home players, only the ones who have appealed for the waiver will get an exemption from May licence fee

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Jun 8, 2020 12:50 PM
Mumbai OOH Owners

The Bombay High Court on June 5th heard the appeal from the Mumbai OOH owners for waiver of license fees on hoardings for the month of May 2020. The stay order has been extended till June 12th and a further verdict will be made on the same. Only the OOH owners, who have appealed for the waiver, will get an exemption. The CMD of Bright Outdoor Media shared that there are almost eight OOH Owners who have appealed for waving off license fees and received a stay order. The remaining who haven't appealed will have to pay by the 10th of June for the month of May 2020.

The Mumbai OOH Owners that have appealed have received a stay order for waving off hoarding fees for the month of May are Creation Publicity Pvt.Ltd, Bright Advertising Pvt.Ltd, Orion Advertisers, Anurag Sites, Em Vee Advertising Company, Pingle Outdoor, Yoag Advertisers, and Pioneer Publicity Corporation Ltd.
The court order as per the hearing on 5th June states, "Mr.Sakhare, learned senior counsel appearing for the Municipal Corporation seeks a week's time to take instructions in the matter. If any of the petitioners are desirous of amending the petition, they shall forward the draft amendment to the Municipal Corporation within a period of two weeks from today. In the meantime, earlier order passed by this court to continue."
Earlier, the court hearing was scheduled for June 2nd, but the absence of the BMC led to the postponement. Due to the global pandemic and nationwide lockdown, media owners approached the court for a waiver of license fees considering the financial setbacks they had to go through. Earlier, the BMC had relaxed the licence fee for March in the month of April. Even though India is an "Unlock" stage, there will be less traffic on the road as people have been given the option to work from home and relief for the OOH Industry is much needed.

In the beginning, the appeal was made by Bright Outdoor Media and Creation Publicity. The latest update after the court hearing on June 5th says that more OOH owners have joined in. This is a collective effort taken by selected Mumbai OOH owners to challenge the BMC order on waving off the license fee payment. This will help the OOH business to rise up after the losses they have endured due to this pandemic. Another, appeal that was put forward was to wavier off the composition charges for 3 months till the month of August 2020 a verdict on this is yet to be made.

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