Even as Navratri revellers are grooving to garba and dandiya songs this Navratri, the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS), the official licensing arm for music and literary works, claimed that several organisers did not have the right to play music as they had not obtained a licence to pay royalty fees yet.
GG Prasad, senior regional manager (western region), IPRS, said of the 14 Navratri and Durga puja mandals in the city that have been asked to pay royalty fees, six haven't yet obtained a licence, including the popular ones such as the Naidu Club in Kora Kendra, Borivli, and the Sarvajanik Vashi Durga Puja.
"So many celebrities are slated to perform at the Vashi mandal, including actor Shah Rukh Khan, but they haven't given us any royalty so far," Prasad said.
Several organisers claimed they were not obliged to pay.
"A Bombay high court order last year said the IPRS has been restrained from collecting royalty fees," said Asit Ghosh, president of the Sarvajanik Vashi Durga Puja.
"If there are amendments that require us to pay the royalty fees, the IPRS should give us a copy of the notification and we will oblige," Ghosh said.
Prasad said the order was only meant for music broadcasters and the IPRS could collect royalty for live performances.
The Kora Kendra organisers also cited exemption from the Act.
"We are not obliged to pay royalty as we play only Gujarati bhajans and not film songs," Ganesh Naidu, president, Naidu Club mandal.
However, Prasad said there was evidence film songs were being played at the mandal and it would be used in a legal case against the organisers.