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ED may soon close money laundering case filed by Javed Akhtar, others against IPRS


Sources within ED told India Today that “the complainant, who had filed the FIR before the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) in Delhi against IPRS and PPL for not paying their dues and for gross irregularities, is now ready to withdraw his complain”.

If Enforcement Directorate (ED) sources are to be believed, the money laundering case against Indian Performing Right Society Ltd (IPRS) and Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) might be dropped in the next few months.

The ED had, in the same case last month, recorded the statement of lyricist Javed Akhtar, who is one of the complainants and now the new chairman of IPRS.

Sources within ED told India Today that “the complainant, who had filed the FIR before the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) in Delhi against IPRS and PPL for not paying their dues and for gross irregularities, is now ready to withdraw his complain”.

The ED had registered a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against both premier bodies on the basis of these complaints made by lyricists and song writers.

As per sources, an advocate of the complainant approached ED with a request to withdraw the money laundering case. “It seems, the complainers have got their money (royalties) back or things have been sorted out within IPRS. Now, they do not want to take this case ahead.”

A source said based on the latest development, a meeting was held at the ED office and it was decided that the agency would not be strict with its decision on the case and would end it shortly. But ED officials have refused to confirm or deny the developments.

“If the complainant withdraws his FIR before the EOW, Delhi then there would not be any predicate offence against the accused bodies, i.e., IPRS and PPL. And if these complainants approach the court with the same request, then it would be challenging for ED to stand with its money laundering case,” Hiten Venegaonkar, legal counsel of ED Mumbai, explained.


IPRS is the body that collects royalties on the songs and music being used at public places like restaurants, radio stations, television channels, among others, and then distributing those royalties among authors (lyricists), composers (music directors), and publishers (music companies). Whereas, PPL is the body that exclusively holds public performance rights and radio broadcasting rights of over 5 lakh songs in the country.

During the investigation, the ED found that office bearers of IPRS had assigned their rights to issue user licenses and collect royalties to PPL on the basis of revenue sharing on per song. Later, allegations were made by the complainants that in connivance with few officer-bearers of IPRS and one Select Media Holding Pvt Ltd (SMHPL), PPL got indulged in criminal conspiracy and cheating by not paying the royalties to them.

An amount of Rs 13.04 crore was retained by PPL (perhaps fraudulently), which led to non-payment of royalties to members of IPRS.

As a result, last year, the ED made an attachment of assets worth Rs 13 crore of PPL, defining it as “the proceeds of crime”, in the case. The agency had also attached mutual funds worth Rs 70.17 crore of IPRS.


In April 2017, lyricist Javed Akhtar, who was among those complainants who exposed the financial irregularities, was elected as the new chairman of IPRS, by authors, music composers, lyricists and publishers.

In his statement, Akhtar had said, “IPRS has turned over a new page and a new chapter has started, where there is no ‘we’ and ‘them’, only ‘us’. Writers, composers and publishers have risen above the past conflicts and have a taken a pledge to work together for enhancement of the Indian music industry’s reach and prosperity.”

As per the statement, the revamped IPRS has adopted a new working constitution and is fully in sync with the Amended Copyright Act.

“The primary objective of this constitution is to ensure rightful royalty flow to all the right owners, while simplifying licensing process for the end users. Definitely, Akhtar may have played a crucial role in the withdrawal of the criminal complaints against IPRS and PPL,” the source said.

Akhtar has not replied to queries sent by India Today, but in his statement to ED officials, he had stated that he would make sure “as a new chairman, financial irregularities would never take place within IPRS”.

Source:  India Today

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