Actor Sonu Sood has issued a statement after an investigation into his finances allegedly revealed discrepancies. The Central Board of Direct Taxes recently alleged that the actor and his associates had evaded tax of ₹20 crore.
It also accused the actor of violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) while raising donations from abroad. Sonu Sood was at the forefront of a fund-raising operation during the Covid-19 pandemic, through which he said he had raised money for those seeking medical assistance.
In a statement shared on social media on Monday, he wrote, “You don’t always have to tell your side of the story. Time will. I have pledged myself to the service of the people of India with all my strength and heart. Every rupee in my foundation is awaiting its turn to save a precious life and reach the needy. In addition, on many occasions, I have encouraged brands to donate my endorsement fees to humanitarian causes too, which keeps us going.”
He continued, “I have been busy attending to a few guests, hence was unable to be at your service, for the last four days. Here I am back again in all humility. At your humble service, for life.”
He concluded by saying, “Kar bhala, ho bhala. Ant bhale ka bhala (A good deed always comes around). My journey continues. Jai Hind.”
The CBDT said the charity foundation set up by the actor was incorporated on July 21, 2020 and has collected donations to the tune of ₹18.94 crore from April 1, 2021 till date. Out of this, it said, the foundation has spent around ₹1.9 crore for various relief works and the balance of ₹17 crore has been found lying “unutilised” in its bank account. It is seen, the statement alleged, that funds to the tune of ₹2.1 crore have also been raised by the charity foundation from overseas donors on a crowdfunding platform “in violation” of FCRA regulations.
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“During the course of search at the premises of the actor and his associates, incriminating evidence pertaining to tax evasion has been found. The main modus operandi followed by the actor had been to route his unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans from many bogus entities,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes claimed in a statement, according to PTI.
(With agency inputs)