Enforcement Directorate records Javed Akhtar’s statement in money laundering case

Akhtar who had lodged a complaint against the irregularities in the affairs of IPRS is now the chairman of the organisation.

Published: 24th May 2017 05:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2017 07:07 PM   |  A+A-

Lyricist-screenwriter Javed Akhtar (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: Popular lyricist Javed Akhtar’s statement was recorded by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday in money laundering case involving Indian Performing Rights Society Ltd (IPRS) and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) - the bodies that handle issues related to royalties.
 
Akhtar who had lodged a complaint against the irregularities in the affairs of IPRS is now the chairman of the organisation. Akhtar had accused the IPRS of not paying dues of its member lyricists and songwriters.
 
We wanted to understand intricate details of the case and the actions he had taken after becoming the chairman, said a senior ED official.
 
IPRS issues licenses to users of music and collects royalties for and on behalf of its members-- lyricists, music directors, and music companies. IPRS then distributes the royalty amongst the artists after deducting its administrative costs. 
 
PPL too is a copyright society for soundtrack recording companies that issues licenses to the users of sound or music recordings. It exclusively controls public performance rights and radio broadcasting rights in more than five lakh songs in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Malayalam, Bhojpuri and other Indian languages, including both film and non-film songs such as Ghazals, devotional, folk, pop, classical, etc. of its more than 250 members.
 
Upon receiving the complaint filed by Akhtar, the ED had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the IPRS and PPL in March 2015 and assets worth Rs 13 crore of the PPL and mutual funds worth Rs 70.17 crore of the IPRS were attached last year in this case.
 
In the course of the probe, the ED realised that the IPRS had assigned their rights to issue user licenses and collect royalties to the PPL on the basis of revenue sharing. But, revenue worth Rs 13.04 core due to IPRS was not paid by the PPL. This was done fraudulently in connivance with the IPRS and Ms Select Media Holding Pvt Ltd (SMHPL). This resulted in non-payment of royalties to writers, composers, directors who are members of IPRS leading to allegations that, IPRS and PPL undermine rights of lyricists and music composers as they are dominated by music companies.

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