Friday, December 2, 2022

Sonu Sood defends himself over IT raids controversy

Mumbai: Days after the Income Tax Department swooped down on Sonu Sood and his business associates, the Bollywood actor came out with a reaction here on Monday, devoid of any reference to the action against him.

“You don’t always have to tell your side of the story. Time will,” he said, starting philosophically and ending poetically, with a dash of patriotism.

In a tangential reference to the Sood Charity Foundation being targeted by the IT Department, he declared: “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 for humanitarian causes too, which keeps us going.”

Explaining his silence over the past days as IT sleuths conducted searches in at least 28 premises belonging to Sood and his business associates all over India, sniffing for evidence of tax evasion, the actor said: “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.”

Giving a poetic twist to his predicament, he added: “Kar Bhalaa, Ho Bhalaa, Antt Bhale Ka Bhalaa (be good, do good, the end is always good for those who are good). My journey continues. Jai Hind.”

Sood’s reaction came after the IT Department pointed the needle of suspicion – without naming him – at alleged tax evasion of around Rs 20 crore by him and other questionable deals with his business partners pegged at another Rs 240 crore.

In an unusual official statement, the department’s list of questionable actions on the part of the actor mentioned unutilised funds in the Sood Charity Foundation, fake contracts and circular transactions with his business partners-companies, diversion of funds through bogus accommodation entries’ to evade taxes, and re-routing them back for making financial investments or buying property.

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