RS. 100 CRORE ROYALTY CHEATING CASE AGAINST YASH RAJ FILMS CLOSED

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By Komal Nahta

 

After almost five years of investigations, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Bombay police has closed a cheating case registered against Yash Raj Films at the behest of the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) in 2019 for allegedly pocketing over Rs. 100 crore in royalties belonging to lyricists, singers and music directors who performed for their films over the years. The police have classified the case as ‘C’ summary, which means that it is neither true nor false. This occurs when a criminal case is filed due to a mistake of facts or when the offence complained about is of civil nature, making the information given to police neither true nor false.

 

The EOW’s general cheating cell submitted the closure report before the court concerned last week, stating that there appeared to be no misappropriation of money by the accused company. The report said, “The complainant had alleged that YRF had taken the licence fees from the user companies or exploiter companies for songs in the agreement letter or received royalty in another way and they have used it for personal use, which is not true. Also, during the course of investigation, it is seen that the amount of royalties paid by the accused company from time to time to song writers and musicians who are members of the plaintiff have been received/accepted by the plaintiff company.” The report also stated that the issue had arisen due to lack of clarity in the provisions of the copyright agreement regarding the calculation of song royalty amounts. As a result, it did not appear that any cognisable crime like embezzlement had been committed in the said case. The report mentioned that since terms and conditions of contract were related to civil matters, the court was requested to approve the ‘C’ summary report.

 

The case against Yash Raj Films was filed by the IPRS in 2019. It accused YRF of allegedly pocketing Rs. 100 crore belonging to lyricists, singers, music directors and music producers. The IPRS alleged that the production house prevented it from collecting royalty from telecom companies, radio stations and music streaming platforms by pressurising artistes to sign illegal agreements.

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