Cheques given to several winners of Assam State Film awards have bounced, landing the state government in an embarrassing position.
The awards were conferred on Monday.
On Friday, nine cheques given to eight winners were returned by the bank when presented for clearance.
“I deposited the cheque on Friday and got a call from the bank that it got bounced. Immediately I called the organisers, who said that there was insufficient balance,” Aparajita Pujari told PTI.
Pujari had won the award for Best Writing in Cinema for 2018.
Sources said cheques handed over to other prominent film personalities like Amrit Pritam (Sound Design), Debajit Changmai (Sound Mixing), Pranjal Deka (Direction), Debajit Gayan (Sound Design and Mixing) and Benjamin Daimary (Acting) also bounced.
The state film awards ceremony is organised by the Assam State Film Finance & Development Corporation (ASFFDC). The cheques are signed by the Director of Cultural Affairs.
Cultural Affairs Minister Bimal Borah asked his officials to conduct an enquiry immediately.
The organisers called Pujari on Saturday and asked her to deposit the cheque again.
“They have said it will be cleared this time,” she said.
An official of ASFFDC said, “The cheques got bounced due to a technical reason. Cheques worth ₹ 18 lakh were cleared on the first day, but nine cheques of eight persons bounced on the second day.” The problem has been corrected and all the eight people have been individually informed on Saturday to deposit their cheques, he added.
Controversy had marred the Awards after it came to light that Nahid Afrin, who was conferred the best female playback singer award, was given the recognition for a song she had not sung.
Afrin was a playback singer in the film ‘Nijaanor Gaan’ for which the award was given, but not the one that was displayed on the stage when she collected the award.
The Cultural Affairs minister later clarified that Afrin was the genuine winner and the lyrics were wrongly displayed, terming it as ‘human error’.