A complaint has been filed against actress Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan for illegally purchasing land in Nandurbar in north Maharashtra.
She could face criminal action for her investment in a wind energy generator in a windmill farm there.
The police in Nandurbar are verifying a complaint by one Anand Thakare alleging that Rai-Bachchan, Suzlon Energy Ltd — the company that makes wind energy turbines and maintains and operates the turbines on behalf of the investors — and several others had duped him into “selling” his land cheap for a planned 1,000 MW wind energy farm.
Rai-Bachchan has acquired the land in question on long lease and Suzlon has installed, on her behalf, one turbine that produces about 1 MW of power.
The period of the lease could not be verified, but it usually ranges from 60 to 99 years.
Wind energy projects attract several high net-worth individuals and companies because of the tax benefits it offers – 100 per cent income tax exemption for the first five years and 80 per cent depreciation in the first year.
According to government estimates, the rate of return on investments in wind energy projects is around 27 per cent. An investment of around Rs 4.75 crore is required for 1 MW of wind energy project.
Rai-Bachchan’s name is mentioned in the land records (called 7/12 extract) as a leasee, according to sources. The police are verifying the documents submitted by the complainant.
Nandurbar Superintendent of Police Keshav Patil said the police and revenue officials will check the land records to see if any offence has occurred on the part of the actress. Neither Suzlon officials nor Rai-Bachchan could be contacted.