The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) passed an order in favour of Sushmita Sen, ruling the Rs. 95 lakh that the actor received from beverages maker Coca Cola for settling a sexual harassment complaint would not be classified as an 'income'.
The case pertains to a Rs. 1.50 crore contract between Coca Cola and Ms Sen which was ended prematurely in 2003. The former Miss Universe had received a sum of Rs. 1.45 crore from Coca Cola as the final settlement.
In her tax filings, Sushmita showed only Rs. 50 lakh as "income" and the rest as extra receipts which are capital gains in nature.
"The only logical deduction was that the company accepted the contention of the assessee of the alleged sexual harassment and paid the compensation to avoid negative publicity/embarrassment which would have jeopardized the business of the company world over," the order said.
"The additional compensation was not towards the service rendered and did not arise out of the contractual terms," it adds.
For those who ain't aware, Sushmita Sen had signed a Rs 1.5-crore endorsement deal with Coca-Cola India, but the company had prematurely terminated her contract. Later Sushmita alleged that it was a reaction to her protesting against sexual harassment by one of their employees. Subsquently, a settlement between both the parties was resolved where the actress eceived Rs 1.45 crore as part of the settlement from Coca-Cola India.
(Inputs from PTI)