The Punjab Entertainment Duty Act, 1955

Act   16 of  1955







Short Title and commencement.




Duty on payments for admission to entertainment.


Payment made in the consolidated sum


Deposit of security by the proprietor.


Entertainment Tax Officer and other Taxing Authorities.


Posting of tables of rates of payment for admission at conspicuous places.


Penalty for non-payment of duty.


Admission of persons without payment.


Method of levy.


Entertainment exempted from payment of duty.




Power of revision.


Production and inspection of accounts and documents.


Entry into and inspection of places of entertainment.


Cognizance of offences.


Power to compound offices.




Delegation of  powers by the Government.


Bar of certain proceedings.


Power to make rules.


Repeal and saving Schedule (Omitted)


For Statement of Object and reasons, see Punjab Government Gazette Extraordinary, dated 31st March, 1954.P 335

Received the assent of the Government of Punjab on the 3rd November, 1955, and was first published in the Punjab Government Gazette Extraordinary, dated  the  4th  November, 1955.          


                                                LEGISLATIVE HISTORY


Extended to the territories which, immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in the State of Patiala and East Punjab States Union by Punjab Act No. 23 of 1957.


Amended by Punjab Act 32 of 1957


Amended by Punjab Act 5 of 1963


Amended by Punjab Act 28 of 1963


Amended by Punjab Act 25 of  1965


Amended by Punjab Act, 10 of 1965


Adoption of  laws Order, 1970


Amended by Punjab Act 3 of 1971


Amended by Punjab Act 21 of 1973


Amended by Punjab Act 21 of 1973


Amended by Punjab Act 17  of 1974


Amended by Punjab  Act  13 of  1978


Amended by Punjab Act 8 of 1982


Amended by Punjab Act 4 of 1986


Amended by Punjab Act 3 of 1994


Amended by Punjab Act 21 of 1994


Amended by Punjab Act 23 of 1994


An Act to provide for the levy of an entertainment duty in respect of admission to public entertainments.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Punjab in the Sixth Year of the  Republic of India as follows:


Statement of Object and Reasons:   

The Punjab Entertainment Duty Act, 1936, has many loopholes. Many of  the mal-practices indulged in by the proprietors of entertainment houses at present go unpunished for want of suitable provisions under the existing Act. This is resulting in considerable evasion and loss of revenue to Government. In order to avoid this loss of revenue, it has now become necessary to revise the Punjab Entertainment Duty Act, 1936. The Bill is accordingly designed to met this purpose"(Vide Punjab Government Gazette Extraordinary, dated the 31st March, 1953, p 335)

1. Short title, extent and commencement: -

(1)   This Act may be called the Punjab Entertainment Duty Act, 1955.

(2)   It extends to the whole of the State of Punjab.

(3)   It shall come into force at once.

2. Definitions: - In this Act unless the context otherwise requires:-

a)                Admission to an entertainment includes admission to any place in which the entertainment is being held or is to be held and where television exhibition is being provided with the aid of  any type of antenna with a cable networks  attached to it or cable television in residential or non-residential areas of which persons are required to make payment by way of contribution or subscription or installation and connection charges or any manner, whatsoever.

aa)             'antenna' means an apparatus which received television signals which enable views to tune into transmissions including national or international satellite transmissions and which is erected or installed for exhibition of films or moving pictures or series of pictures by means of transmission of television signal by wire where subscribers television sets at the residential or non-residential place are linked by metallic coaxial cable or optio-fibre cable to a central system called the head-end, on payment by the connection charges or any other charges collected in any manner whatsoever.

aaa)    'cable television' means a system organized on payment by a connection holder of any contribution or subscription or installation and connection charges or any other charges collected in any manner whatsoever, for  exhibition of films or moving picture or series of pictures by means of transmission of television signals by wire where subscriber's television set is linked by metallic coaxial cable or optio-fiber cable to a central system called the head-end, by using a video cassette or disc or both, recorder or player or similar such apparatus on which prerecorded vide cassettes or discs or both are played or replayed and the films or moving pictures or series of pictures which are viewed and heard on the television receiving set at a residential or non-residential place of a connection holder.

b)                Commissioner means the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab for the time being.

c)                Entertainment Tax Officer means the Excise and Taxation Officer appointed as such under this Act.'

d)                'entertainment' includes any exhibition, performance, amusement, game, sport, or race to which persons are ordinarily admitted on payment for exhibition of films, or moving pictures or series of pictures which are shown on the television receiving  set, with the aid of any type of antenna with a cable network attached to it or cable television for which persons are reuired to make payment by way of  contribution or subscription or installation and connection charges or any other charges collected in any manner whatsoever.

e)                'payment for admission' includes-

i)      any payment made by a person admitted to any part of a place  entertainment and in a case where such person is subsequently admitted to another part thereof  for admission to which an additional payment is required, such additional payment, whether actually made or not.

ii)    in case of free, surreptitious,  unauthorized or concessional entry, whether with or without the knowledge of  proprietor, the payment which would have been made it the person concerned had been admitted on payment  of the full charges ordinarily chargeable for such admission.

iii)   Any payment for any purpose whatsoever connected with an entertainment which a person is required to make as a condition of attending or continuing to attend the entertainment in addition to the payment, if any, for admission to the entertainment.

iv)  Any payment made by a person by way of contribution or subscription of installation and connection charges or any other charges collected in any manner whatsoever for television exhibition with the aid of any type of antenna with a cable net work attached to it or cable television.

f)        'prescribed means prescribed by rules made under this Act.                       

g)   'proprietor' in  relation to any entertainment includes the owner, partner or a person responsible for management thereof and any person responsible for  or for the time being in charge of the management for providing  cable connection from any type of antenna or cable television.

h)         'Government' means the Government of the State of Punjab and

i)          'Ticket ' means the pass or token for the purpose of securing admission to an entertainment.


Video parlours - Entertainment duty on parlours-video parlours having more that 100 seats can well be equated with a regular  cinema-nothing wrong to treat such a video parlour for the purpose of entertainment duty at par with a regular cinema-Video parlour having more than 99 seats and a video paralour having 99n seats are two separate classes and could be differently treated -Location of video parluor in a town or village having particular population has direct nexus with the quantum of duty leviable. Punjab. Punjab Entertainment Duty Act 1955Section 3-A as amended by Haryana Act 3  of 1989. Mrs. Jyoti Video Theatre ,Jind v. State of Haryana 1993(3 )RRR 132(P&H).

Cinematograph-The word 'cinematograph' includes V.C.R.-Licence under Act is essential-Stringent requirements for grant of such licence, however, deprecated-Different yard-sticks adopted for V.C.R. and regular cinemas for purposes of entertainment duty is legal. Punjab Cinemas(Regulations) Act, 1952 as applicable to Haryana. Punjab Cinemas(Regulations)Rules, 1952-
Rule 3(iv) Mrs. Jyoti Video Theatre, Jind v. State of Haryana 1993(3) RRR 132(P&H).

3. Duty on payment for admission to entertainment: -

(1) A person admitted to an entertainment shall be liable to pay an entertainment duty at a rate (not exceeding one hundred and twenty five per centum of the payment of admission) which the Government may specify, by a notification in this behalf and the said duty shall be collected by the proprietor and rendered to the Government in the manner prescribed.

[(1-A) Not withstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Government may, by notification, levy lumpsum entertainment duty at a rate not exceeding: -

(a)    eight thousand rupees per annum in the local area of a City constituted as such under the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911; and

(b)   Six thousand rupees per annum in areas other than the local areas specified in clause (a); in respect of entertainments arranged by a proprietor by replay of video cassette player or video record player and the lumpsum duty so levied shall be recoverable from the proprietor.]

(2)      A draft of the proposed order specifying the rate of entertainments duty referred to in sub section  (1) shall be notified for the information of all persons likely to be effected thereby and it shall take effect only after the Government haws considered all objections received within a period of thirty days from the date of such publications, and has notified the same again with or without modification:

  Provided that if the Government consider that such an order should be brought into force at once, the final notification may issue without previous publication.

  Provided further that Government may impose an entertainments duty on complimentary tickets  at a from that imposed on other kinds of payment for admission subject to the maximum specified in sub section (1).

(3)   Until     such time as the duty referred to in sub sections (1) and (2) has been finally notified, the entertainments duty shall be levied at the rates  in force in this behalf immediately before the commencement of this Act.

[(3-A) Notwithstanding anything in this section, the amount of duty shall be calculated to the nearest multiple of 5 naye paise by ignoring 2 naye paise or less and counting more than 2 naye paise as 5 naye paise].

(4)             The final notification specifying the rates of entertainment duty shall be laid before the[-] Legislature at the session immediately following its publication.

[3-A. Entertainment duty is not leviable in case tax is paid under Punjab Act 8 of 1954. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no entertainment duty shall leviable on the proprietor who is able to pay entertainment tax under the Punjab Entertainment Tax (Cinematograph Shows) Act, 1954]

[(3-B) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (1), (1A), (2) and (3), in the case of entertainment provided with the aid of antenna or cable television to a connection holder, the proprietor of such entertainment shall pay entertainment duty at such rate per connection per month as the State Government may specify from time to time by a notification in the Official Gazette but not exceeding seventy-five rupees per month per connection.

4.    Payment made in a consolidated sum: - Where the payment for admission to an entertainment is made in a consolidated sum in the form of a subscription or contribution to any society or a season ticket or a right of admission to an entertainment or series of entertainments during a specified period, or a privilege, right, or facility combined with the right of admission without further payment, or a reduced charge, the entertainment duty shall be paid on the amount of the consolidated sum but where the Entertainment Tax Officer is of the opinion that the payment of a consolidated sum or any payment  for a ticket includes payment for other privileges, rights or facilities besides the admission riod when the duty has not been in operation, they duty shall be charged on such amount as appears ton the Entertainment Tax Officer to represent the right of admission to entertainment for which a duty is payable.

5.    Deposit of security by the proprietor: - The prescribed authority may, in the manner prescribed, require the proprietor of any entertainment to deposit as security for payment of entertainment duty under this Act, an amount not exceeding [twenty thousand rupees] in a Government treasury, and the same shall be deposited.

6.    Entertainment Tax Officer and other taxing authorities: -  For carrying out the purposes of this Act, the Government may appoint a person as Entertainment Tax Officer and such other persons as it thinks fit to assist the Commissioner.

7.    Posting of tables of rates of payments off admission at conspicuous places :- The proprietor of an entertainment shall, in the manner prescribed, exhibit at the place of entertainment, the rates of the payment for admission and the amount of entertainments duty payable on such rates.

8.    Penalty for non-payment of duty: -

(1)  Except as otherwise provided in this Act, no person shall enter an entertainment unless he is in possession of ticket or a complimentary ticket or a pass or a badge supplied by the employer under this Act and no person liable to pay entertainments duty shall so enter without  having  paid, in the manner prescribed, the duty payable under this Act.

(2) A person who enters an entertainment without permission or surreptitiously, with intent to evade the duty payable under this Act shall, on conviction by a magistrate, be punishable with fine which may extend to rupees 200 (rupees two hundreds) and, in addition, be liable to pay such duty.

9.    Admission of persons without payment :- Nothing in this Act shall apply to bona fide employees of proprietor, are on duty in connection with the entertainment, or the proprietor when on such duty.

10. Method of levy: -

(1)   Save as otherwise provided by this Act no person shall be admitted to any entertainment where the payment for admission is subject to entertainment duty except with ticket stamped with an impressed, embossed, engraved or adhesive stamp (not used before) issued by the Government for the purposes of revenue and denoting that the proper entertainment duty been paid.

(2)   The Government may, on the application of the proprietor of any entertainment, in respect of which the entertainment duty is payable, permit the proprietor on such conditions as the Government may prescribe, to pay the entertainment duty-. 

(a)       by a consolidated payment [not exceeding one hundred and twenty five per centum of the gross payment for admission] to the entertainment at the rate in force during the period concerned.

(b)       in accordance with the returns of the payment for admission to the entertainment;

(c)       in accordance with the results recorded by any mechanical contrivance that automatically register the number of persons admitted.

  1. Entertainment exempted from payment of duty: -

(1)   No entertainment duty shall be levied on payment for admission to any entertainment where the Commissioner is satisfied on application made in the behalf  in the prescribed manner that the whole of the net proceeds of the entertainment will be devoted to philanthropic, charitable, educational or scientific purposes which have been approved as such by the Government .

(2)   Nothing in this Act apply to any entertainment provided by the staff or students, or both of an academic institution when the proceeds are intended for academic or charitable purposes.

(3)   The Government, for promotion of peace and international goodwill or encouragement of arts and crafts, sports or other public interest, by general or special order, exempt any entertainment or class of entertainments from liability to pay [either whole or any portion of] duty under  this Act.

(4)   The Government  may, in the case of entertainment by public cinematograph exhibition, by notification direct that persons admitted to such an entertainment and occupying seats in the front rows close to the screen up to such number or up to such proportion of the total number of seats as may be specified in the notification shall be liable to pay entertainment duty at such lower rate as may be specified therein, provided all the front rows comprising seats up to such a number or proportion, as the case may be, are closer to screen than every other row].

11-A.Appeal :-
(1)  Any person aggrieved by an order made by the prescribed authority under [-] section 14-A may, in prescribed manner, appeal to such higher authority as may be prescribed within thirty days of such order:

Provided that no appeal shall be entertained by higher authority unless it is satisfied that the amount of duty due and the penalty, if any, imposed on the person has been paid.

Provided further that if such higher authority is satisfied that the person is unable to pay duty due or the penalty, if any, imposed or both, it may, for reasons to recorded in writing, entertain the appeal without duty or penalty or both having been paid.

(2) Subject to such rules of  procedure as may be prescribed, the higher authority may pass on such appeal such orders as it may think fir.

12. Powers of revision :- The Commissioner or such other officer, as the Government may by notification, appoint in this behalf may, of his own motion or on application made, call for the record of any proceedings or order of any authority subordinate to him for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the legality or propriety or such proceedings or order, and may pass such order in reference thereto as he may deem fit.

[Provided that the Commissioner or the other officer may, before deciding such application, direct the applicant to deposit, in whole or in part the amount of duty due, and penalty, if any, impose on him under this Act.]

 13. Production and inspection of accounts and documents: -

(1) The proprietor  of an entertainment shall, on being required to do so by an officer authorized by the Government in this behalf , produce before any officer of the Excise and Taxation Department, not below the rank of a Sub-Inspector as may be prescribed, any accounts or documents, relevant ton the sales of tickets including complimentary tickets and realization of the entertainments duty as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act.

(2) If any officer or Government mentioned in sub section(1) has reason to suspect that the proprietor of any entertainment is attempting to evade the payment of an entertainments duty due from him under Act, he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, seize such accounts, registers or documents of the proprietor, as may be necessary and shall grant a receipt for the same and shall retain the same only for so long as may be necessary for examination thereof.

14. Entry into and Inspection of places of entertainments: -

(1) Any officer not below such rank as may be prescribed, may enter into, inspect and search any place of entertainment while the entertainment is proceeding at any reasonable time, for the purpose of ensuring that the provisions of this Act. (2) The proprietor of every entertainment shall give every reasonable assistance to the aforesaid officer in the performance of his duties under subsection (1).

[14-A.   Power to impose penalties on proprietor of entertainments :- (1) If the proprietor of an entertainment -

(a)    evades the payment of any duty due under this Act, or

(b)   obstructs any officer making any inspection, a search or seizure under this Act, or

(c)    acts in contravention of, or fails to comply with any of  the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder.

the prescribed authority may after affording such proprietor a reasonable opportunity of  being heard direct him to pay by way of penalty in addition to the duty due if any a sum not exceeding [ten thousand rupees]

15. Cognizance of offences: -

(1) No Court shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act except on a complaint made by a person authorized in this behalf by the Government and no Court inferior to that of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall be competent to try such an offences.

16. Power to compound offences: - (1) The prescribed authority may, at any time, accept from a person, who has committed an offence under this Act, by way of composition of such offence, such of money not exceeding [-] fifty rupees or double the amount of duty payable under this Act whichever is greater.

17. Recoveries :- Any sum due under this Act shall be recoverable as arrears of land revenue.

18.  Delegation of Powers by the Government: -

(1) Government may delegate all or any of its powers under this Act except those conferred upon it by sub section (2) of section 10, section 20 and this section, to any person or authority subordinate to it.

(2) The exercise of any power delegated under sub-section (1) shall be subject to such restrictions, or conditions, if any as may be laid down by the Government and shall also be subject to control and revision by it.

19.  Bar of certain proceedings: -

No action shall lie against Government or any of its officer or servant for any act done or purporting to be done in faith under this Act.

20.  Power to make rules: -

(1) The State Government make rules generally carrying out the provisions of his Act.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power it may make rules: -

(a)     for the supply and use of stamps or stamped tickets if required in connection with the levy of entertainments duty or for the stamping of tickets sent to be stamped, and for securing the defacement of stamps when used;

(b)    for the use of tickets covering the admission of more than one person and the calculation of the duty thereon for the payment of the duty on the transfer from one part of a place of entertainment to another.

(c)      for controlling the use of mechanical contrivances (including the prevention of the use of the same mechanical contrivances for payment of a different amount) and for securing proper records of admission by means of mechanical contrivances;

(d)    for the checking of the admission, the keeping of accounts and furnishing of returns by the proprietors of entertainments in respect of which entertainment duty is payable in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(e)     for renewal of damaged or spoiled stamps and for the procedure to be followed on applications for refund;

(f)      for the keeping of account of all stamps used under this Act;

(g)     for prescribing the form of a ticket, pass or token authorizing admission to an entertainment.

(h)     for the presentation and disposal or application for exemption for payment  of the entertainment duty or for the refund thereof;

(i)       for the exemption from the entertainments duty on military personnel in uniform.

(j)      for the exemption of entertainments duty under this Act and the power to be exercised by the officers of Government in that behalf;

[(k) Omitted by Punjab Act 10 of 1965, section 6(1)]

(l)      for specifying the authorties who would be competent to compound offences under section 16.

(m)  for laying down procedure for the hearing and disposal  of appeals under sections 11-A and applications under section 12 and all other matters incidental thereto.]

(3) All rules made under this Act shall be laid before [-] the State Legislature during the session next ensuring after the publication thereof and may be confirmed, amended, amended or revoked by it.

21.  Repeal and Saving :- The Punjab Entertainment Duty Act, 1936 (Punjab Act  III of 1936), is hereby repealed.

Not withstanding   any such  repeal, anything done or any action taken including any order, notification or rules made or issued in exercise of powers conferred by or under the repealed Act shall to the extent of being consistent with the provisions of this Act be deemed to have been done/taken in exercise or powers conferred by or under this Act.

           [The schedule Omitted by Punjab Act 32 of 1957, section 3]