Salim Merchant, of the composer duo Salim-Sulaiman, shocked Bollywood buffs by alleging that the prestigious production house Yash Raj Films (YRF) has not paid him royalties despite having collected the same. He added that this was the reason he has not worked with YRF over the past four years.
“Yash Raj has been collecting money on behalf of the composer and lyricist — that much I know — but I don’t know whether they have paid anyone. They have certainly not paid me and Sulaiman,” Merchant told Indian news portal The Quint.
He also claimed that the music label T-Series has also not cleared all his dues yet.
The Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS), which comprises composers, singers and lyricists, reportedly filed a police complaint against Yash Raj Films on November 20. It has been alleged that YRF has collected over Rs1 billion in music royalty, which actually belongs to members of IPRS.
Also, YRF has allegedly prevented artists of the IPRS from collecting royalties by pressurising them.
Merchant further claimed IPRS chairperson and veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar has also been deprived of his dues.
“I know Javed Akhtar sahab (sir) has not been paid, for sure... you know he’s not been paid. Sulaiman and I have not been paid — any royalties that have come from Yash Raj, we have not been paid,” The Quint further reported Merchant as saying.
Most of Salim-Sulaiman’s bigget hit songs are with YRF productions. These include music in films such as ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’, ‘Mardaani’, ‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’, ‘Aaja Nachle’, ‘Band Baaja Baarat’ and ‘Chak De! India’.
The duo is now focusing on performing at concerts globally and composing singles, besides creating music for films.