Bombay HC to hear Anushka Sharma’s plea challenging action initiated by Sales Tax dept against her


Image Source : INSTAGRAM/ANUSHKA SHARMA Anushka Sharma

The Bombay High Court agreed to hear Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma’s petition challenging the proceedings against her initiated by the Sales Tax Department. The Court has issued notice to the respondents on Anushka’s plea and has kept the matter for hearing on February 6. Last month, the High Court slammed the Bollywood actor for filing two petitions against the notice through her tax consultant instead filing it herself. She has filed four petitions for the assessment years 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

She filed the petitions last week after the HC in December 2022 refused to entertain a petition filed by Sharma’s taxation consultant Shrikant Velekar challenging the Sales Tax department orders. The HC had then noted that there was no reason why the affected person (Anushka) could not file the petitions herself.

According to Sharma’s petitions, she performed in films and at award ceremonies as a performer as part of a tri-party agreement with her agent, Yashraj Films Pvt Ltd and producers/event organisers. The assessing officer levied sales tax not on film consideration but on product endorsements and anchoring at award functions holding that Sharma had transferred her performer’s rights, the pleas said.

For 2012-13, the sales tax demand inclusive of interest was Rs 1.2 crore on Rs 12.3 crore consideration and for the year 2013-14, it was Rs 1.

6 crore on nearly Rs 17 crore consideration. The sales tax department passed the orders between 2021 and 2022.

Anushka Sharma in her petitions said there was no provision to file an appeal before the appellate authority unless 10 per cent of the disputed tax is paid. The assessing officer had erroneously held that by endorsing products and remaining present at award functions, she had acquired copyrights and sold/transferred the same, the petitions said. The pleas contended that the copyrights of videos always remain with the producer who is the owner of the same.

“Unless it is established that there is sale of goods (tangible or intangible), sales tax cannot be levied,” the pleas said. Anushka said an actor who has performed a role in a movie cannot be called a creator or producer of the film and hence does not own copyrights of the film. “The petitioner submits that as an actor does not possess any copyright in the film, the question of transferring/selling the same to any other person or producer does not arise,” the petitions said.

If as per the Sales Tax department, Sharma has transferred her performer’s rights then it ought to mention to whom she has done so, the pleas said. “Performer’s rights are to protect the interests of the actor and are not for transfer or sale,” the actor said in her pleas.

Recently, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and his actress wife Anushka Sharma paid a visit to Baba Neem Karoli Ashram in Vrindavan. The celebrity couple is known for its religious leanings and sought blessings in the holy city of Vrindavan. Accompanying them was their cute daughter Vamika Kohli who sat on Anushka’s lap and soaked in the religious spirit. A video showing the celebrity couple with Vamika has gone viral on social media and fans are showering love on the family. Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma stayed at Baba Neem Karoli Ashram in Vrindavan for about an hour and had ‘darshan’ of Baba’s ‘samadhi’, besides meditating in a ‘kutia’ (hut). 

Anushka’s work front

On the professional front, Anushka recently surprised everyone with her cameo in ‘Qala’. Next, she will be seen in the upcoming movie Chakda Xpress. The movie is directed by Prosit Roy and is a sports biopic based on the life of former Indian cricketer Jhulan Goswami. Anushka will be seen portraying the role of a cricketer for the first time in her career. The sports drama will also premiere on Netflix.

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