The Supreme Court has said the F1 in Greater Noida can take place as planned, but the organisers need to deposit 25% of the ticket sales in a special bank account. That money cannot be withdrawn by the organisers - the JP Group - till the court decides on whether the event is entitled to exemption from entertainment taxes. (Read: India GP success key to future of motorsport in India, says Chandhok)
The races will be held over a period of three days next week in Greater Noida near Delhi (Read: Organisers want F1 to erase shameful CWG memories)
The Uttar Pradesh government's decision to forgo the entertainment tax has been challenged in the Supreme Court by a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). "We want to get money for the stateÂ but you don't," observed the judges hearing the case.
The JP Group told the court that so far it has sold tickets worth 75 crore. Given that entertainment tax is applied at 25%, the group will have to set aside 18 crore within two weeks in a special bank account.
The organizers had argued that an intervention by the court would bring adverse publicity to an event drawing international audiences. The judges didn't accept that.
The case will be heard next after a month. Â
Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the UP government, said that the event is part of a Special Development ZoneÂ for industrial, residential and sports activities.
The judges said they want more details on whether this zone caters to the needs of the common man, the middle class, or the elite.
"In Bombay, for example there are certain jhuggi jhopris which are part of a economic development zone. There you can say we will have a cricket or football stadium. But in the name of sports, you cannot have a motor race there," they said.