Supreme Court denies tax exemption to Gujarati film on homosexuality
20 September, 2015
On grounds that a section of society may perceive homosexuality as akin to “social evils”, the Supreme Court has refused to overturn a Gujarat High Court ruling that denied tax exemption to K R Devmani’s Gujarati film Meghdhanyshya — The colour of life, depicting the life of Manavendra Singh Gohil- a member of an erstwhile royal family who came out as gay.
The Gujarat government grants 100 per cent exemption from entertainment tax to all Gujarati films produced after April 1, 1997. This relief, however, is not meant for films depicting evil customs, blind faith, sati, dowry and such “social evils,” and those “against national unity”. But Devmani’s movie was denied exemption by the State Tax Commissioner, who said that it would send a message that the state was endorsing and encouraging homosexuality, and would create friction in the society.
K R Devmani had challenged this decision in the Gujarat High Court, and then in the Supreme Court.