The Mumbai police’s Economic Offences Wing will question Aditya and Uday Chopra of Yash Raj Films once they have relevant documents regarding the accusations made by the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS).
The IPRS, a body that represents composers, musicians and lyricists, has accused Bollywood production house Yash Raj Films of unauthorised collection of over Rs 100 crore in music royalty belonging to IPRS members. It has also filed an FIR against the production house with the EOW.
To verify the accusations made by the IPRS, the Mumbai police will check the balance sheet, income tax returns and financial transactions of Yash Raj Films in a bid to find out whether the company pocketed the royalty amount. Contracts signed by the artistes with YRF will also be examined by the police as part of the investigation.
Police sources told The Quint that the role of the other board of directors of the YRF, with regards to the accusation, will also be investigated.
The FIR, which names YRF’s directors Adtiya Chopra and Uday Chopra, has been registered under Section 409 (Criminal Breach of Trust) and 34 (Common Indention of the Indian Penal Code) and relevant sections of the Copyright Act. It alleges that the production house has “prevented the body from collecting royalties from telecom companies, radio stations and music streaming platforms by pressuring artists into signing illegal agreements.”
In May 2012, the Copyright Act (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha unanimously. The law declares authors owners of the copyright, which cannot be assigned to producers, as was the practice until then. Under the provision of the amendment, the music director and the lyricist will get 25 percent each in terms of royalty every time their music is sold, and the other 50 percent goes to the publisher/music company.
Music composer Salim Merchant had also told The Quint that YRF has failed to pay royalties owed to them despite having collected them on their behalf. “Yash Raj has been collecting money on behalf of the composer and lyricist – that much I know – but I don’t know whether they have paid anyone. They have certainly not paid me and Sulaiman,” Salim had said.