MUMBAI (Web Desk) – Indian actor-entrepreneur Ajay Devgan has joined Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as actors who have been named in the sixth list of the Panama Papers leak.
Devgan wholly owns a British Virgin Islands (BVI) company, Marylebone Entertainment Ltd, which was incorporated in 2013, the Indian Express said in its investigative report.
The actor admitted to holding an overseas account and denied any wrongdoing. He told the media that the company had been established under RBI guidelines for overseas direct investment route and proper disclosure has been made by his family while filing for tax returns.
Mossack Fonseca & Co (BVI) Ltd was the registered agent of Marylebone Entertainment Ltd at the time of incorporation. The original shareholder of the company, registered in the BVI on October 29, 2013, was Hassan N Sayani, an individual based in London.
Sayani was issued 1,000 shares on October 31, 2013. Ajay Devgan bought over the entire shareholding from Sayani the same day.
Devgan’s chartered accountant Anil Sekhri told the Indian Express that 1000 shares are held by Ajay Devgan on behalf of M/s Nysa Yug Entertainment, a partnership firm between Ajay and his wife Kajol Devgan.
“This company was floated by Nysa Yug Entertainment through the ODI route and all formalities with respect to the RBI were followed. The shares held in Marylebone Entertainment Limited are reflected by M/s Nysa Yug Entertainment in its balance sheet as filed with the I-T Department,” Sekhri said in a written response.
Marylebone Entertainment is authorised to issue a maximum of 50,000 shares of no par value. The company is engaged in the business of acquisition, distribution and exploitation of the overseas rights of Hindi films.
Ajay Devgan consented to act as a director in the company on October 31, 2013. He, however, resigned as director with effect from December 15, 2014. Before resigning, in a written resolution, Devgan approved the appointment of EFG Trust Company Limited and EFG Nominees Limited as directors of Marylebone Entertainment.
Devgan’s resignation as a director from Marylebone Entertainment and appointment of foreign entities as directors could also be prompted by the government’s plans to introduce new rules to determine the place of effective management (PoEM).
PoEM is a new concept that was introduced in Budget 2015 to determine the residency of a company. It has, however, been deferred until 2017 to give India Inc some time to prepare structures based on their place of residency.
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan were also named in the Panama Papers leak.
They faced a lot of flak after their names emerged in the Panama Papers leak wherein they were accused of holding offshore accounts and being actively involved in the proceedings of those companies through video-conferences.