Bhupen Patel for NDTV
Mumbai, Mar 3: The Stamp Office here has issued notices to 168 actors, art directors and music directors for not paying the stamp duties on their contracts.
The list of people includes some of the top stars of the Hindi film industry such as Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Jackie Shroff, etc.
The notices were sent in mid-January 2007, and thus far, just a handful of people like Akshay Kumar and Rima Sen have responded to them.
"In November, we had issued notices to some of the film producers asking them to submit the documents pertaining to their films and also pay their stamp duties."
"On scrutiny of documents, we found that there are also artists who need to pay the duties. Hence, we have issued notices to around 168 such artists," said Rajesh Katkar, Collector of Stamps.
According to the officials, even in the earlier lot of 15 film producers who were issued notices very few of them have replied.
Those who are still on the defaulters list include film actor Aamir Khan and producers Ram Gopal Verma, Subhash Ghai, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and JP Dutta.
The officials say that they plan to give these Bollywood personalities a second chance, and if they fail the second time, they will be booked under the Stamp Duty Act and will have to fork major fines.
First the producers and now the artists, clearly the present set of notices appear to be the Stamp Office’s next step in its ongoing campaign to make Bollywood deals more transparent.