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I-T department forced me to sign statement implicating Sony: Ricky Martin’s letter

A letter written by the famous Latin singer Ricky Martin came as a big relief to Sony Music (India) Ltd which has been in a conflict with the Income Tax Department for the past 18 years.

India TV Business Desk [ Published on: June 08, 2016 12:22 IST ]
Ricky Martin was in Delhi in 1998
Ricky Martin was in Delhi in 1998

New Delhi: A letter written by the famous Latin singer Ricky Martin came as a big relief to Sony Music (India) Ltd which has been in a conflict with the Income Tax Department for the past 18 years. 

According to a report in The Indian Express, the letter was written by Martin to the Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax in the year 1999 in which he claimed that the I-T department had forced him to sign a statement against Sony Music by threatening him after a concert in Delhi in 1998. 

The letter played a major role in the case as the Delhi High Court dismissed the proceedings initiated by the Income Tax department against Sony Music (India) Ltd. 

In the letter written almost 17 years ago, Martin had claimed that the I-T department officials had forced him to sign the statement in order to impose a tax liability on Sony Music, despite the fact that he had no contract with the music company for his live performance in Delhi in 1998 or for sale of audio cassettes of his performance.

“I was coerced and forced to sign this statement on oath and was overwhelmed by the duress exercised by you on me. This statement under oath was extracted by you from me under threats from you that I would not be allowed to leave India until I signed this statement under oath,” The Indian Express quoted Martin’s statement from the letter. 

Meanwhile, Ricky Martin also requested the I-T department to close the matter against Sony as he had no contract with the music company regarding the concert or sale of music.

The Delhi High Court also found Martin’s arguments valid and noted that the I-T department failed to produce any evidence against the music company. 

“This writ petition has been pending since 1999 and there was a sufficient time for the I-T Department to have placed on record the outcome of the investigation… nothing has been placed on record in these 17 years by the I-T to inform the court of the consequent result of said investigation,” said the apex body.

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