1976 superhit movie 'Charas' in tax trouble 41 years later
The 1976 Dharmendra-Hema Malini starrer superhit 'Charas' has ran into legal trouble more than four decades later. It has turned out Ramanand Sagar, the maker, manipulated figures to reduce tax liability. The anomaly showed up in the 1976-77 I-T returns filed by Sagar's company. The late filmmaker's heirs have now been asked to pay over Rs. 6L as penalty. Here's all about it.
'Charas', one of the few movies of its kind then
Sagar directed, wrote and produced the superhit movie 'Charas', one of Bollywood's first films to address the menace of drug smuggling. It gave the industry some immortal songs, including "Kal ki haseen mulaqat ke liye" by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar.
What was wrong with Sagar's tax returns?
Sagar took Rs. 13.7L from Mumbai-based Prakash Pictures as minimum guarantee amount for the movie's distribution, but in his own returns, he disclosed only Rs. 3.9L and showed the rest under a different head. Meanwhile, Prakash showed the entire amount as cost of acquiring the movie. Sagar's lawyers said he did it as he wasn't sure 'Charas' would make enough money.
Sagar had rectified his filings, but HC ruled against him
Sagar's lawyer argued that though his initial returns were incorrect, he had rectified it when intimated of the same by an assessing officer. However, the HC noted that he "should have been candid and honest" in the first place, and levied a fine of over Rs. 6L on his heirs.