Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), a licensing body representing several music companies in the country, filed police complaints against three city nightclubs on Friday night claiming that they had failed to pay the requisite licence fee to play music at their year-end events.
The PPL filed a complaint in Santacruz police station against Vie Lounge and Deck at Juhu, for not paying the fee of Rs1.14 lakh before the 5pm deadline on Friday. “Hard Rock Café and Shiro in Lower Parel have also not paid their dues,” said Sowmya Chowdhury, country head for events at PPL.
On Wednesday, PPL had issued legal notices to more than 125 city hotels and pubs for not paying music licence fees, and had also threatened to take “strict steps to stop the year-end parties” if they failed to do so by the deadline.
The three pubs in question denied that they had not paid the licence fee to PPL. “We had already paid the annual fee of Rs29,000 that we have been paying for the past five years as a standalone restaurant,” said Basab Paul, owner of Vie. “This year, they have held us to ransom by demanding Rs1.14 lakh, the charge levied on five-star hotels.”
Paul said Vie has appealed in court and had deposited Rs1.14 lakh to PPL in protest by 4.30pm on Friday. “This sum can be refunded to us if the court hearing in January is in our favour,” said Paul.
Amit Keswani, vice-president of JSM Corporation that owns Hard Rock Café and Shiro, said, “The case is already settled, we have paid our annual fee.”
The police had not raided any of these spots until the time of going to press.