The Maharashtra government netted nearly Rs 82 crore as stamp duty from the five-year media rights deal between the BCCI and broadcast major Star India, a Department of Stamps and Registration official has claimed. Star India recently won the TV broadcasting and digital rights of the Indian Premier League for Rs 16,347 crore in a five-year deal, defeating Sony which had broadcast the first 10 editions of the IPL. “After coming to know from print and TV media about the contract, we took up the matter with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), with whom Star India signed the contract,” a top official of the Department of Stamps and Registration said. “The positive approach of Vinod Rai, head of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators of BCCI, helped in the speedy recovery of the amount,” the official told PTI on condition of anonymity. “We informed the BCCI that the agreement of global media rights is chargeable under sections 5(h)(A)(ii) of the Maharashtra Stamp Act. We also pointed out that under Section 34 of the Act, the instrument (agreement) is inadmissible in evidence if not duly stamped,” the official said.
The official revealed that the agreement like the one between the BCCI Star India, attracts a stamp duty of 0.5 per cent of the total value. “The Stamp Collector’s Office in Mumbai asked Star India to submit the agreement copy for payment of stamp duty,” he said. “As per the Act, the contract agreement covering exclusive rights of telecasting, broadcasting or exhibition of an event or a film attracts stamp duty of 0.5 per cent of the amount agreed to in the contract, if the agreement amount exceeds Rs 10 lakh,” the official said.
Accordingly, Star India paid a stamp duty of Rs 81,73,75,500 last week, the official said. “Till last year, it was observed that parties which entered into contracts with BCCI were not keen to pay the stamp duty amount. As a result, the state government lost a big amount which could have come into its kitty,” the official said. “This year the authorities decided to be proactive and sent teams to BCCI and concerned firms in a bid to garner the stamp duty,” the official said. A team went to the BCCI office in Mumbai to carry out “inspection of such agreements,” he added.
Star could not be reached for a comment despite repeated attempts. The official claimed that this is the second instance this year of the Stamps department, with the help of Rai, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, recovering stamp duty. A few months ago, the department received a copy of the agreement between the BCCI and Oppo Electronics Corporation, which said Oppo has been appointed as the team sponsor for the next five years, a deal worth Rs 1,049 crore. “The stamp duty on the agreement came to Rs 5.39 crore, which was 0.5 per cent of the total amount and was paid by Oppo,” the official said.