Actor Sonu Sood, who scaled pinnacles of popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic for taking a step forward by organising free flights, trains and luxury buses to enable migrants stranded in Maharashtra and other parts of India to reach their homes marred his name controversy in a tiff with Income Tax Department. The I-T Department accused the Bollywood actor of financial irregularities worth over Rs 250 crore. While the actor kept mum when the I-T officials raided his properties, he took to Twitter on Monday to share his statement. Without mentioning anything about the raids or alleged tax evasions, the actor assured that every rupee in his foundation is awaiting its turn to save a precious life and reach the needy.
Read Sonu Sood’s full statement here: “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 for humanitarian causes too, which keeps us going. I have been busy attending to a few guests hence was unable to be at your service, for the last 4 days. Here I am back again in all humility. At your humble service, for live. My journey continues.”
Adding more to it, the actor in the caption of his Instagram post mentioned that he is a law-abiding citizen and will continue to do so. He also thanked everyone for their love and support.
“Thankyou for your continued support,concern and Most importantly infinite LOVE. I would sincerely like to announce I am a law bidding citizen of my country, “I WAS and I WILL” continue to always follow all rules and regulations and laws of my country. I have full faith,respect and confidence towards the law, departments and our honest authorities. I will fully co operate with the concerned department and authorities. I humbly request you all to take this in positive spirit as a part of the large journey and vision we all have to contribute towards growth of our wonderful country. At this moment I pray and recall the blessings & teachings of my late parents that hurdles and struggle is part of journey of ones life. I am humbled and touched with the enormous Love and strength expressed by various methods of communication. I will remain at people’s disposal as always to serve you all….PROUD INDIAN, SONU,” he wrote.
For the unversed, the Income Tax Department accused Bollywood actor Sonu Sood of financial irregularities worth over Rs 250 crore by way of unutilised charitable funds, bogus contracts and circular transactions with one of his partner companies, and diverting funds to evade taxes, officials said.
The disclosures came after IT sleuths’ swoop for two days on some 28 premises in Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Jaipur, Kanpur and Gurugram in one of the biggest such investigative actions on any actor or entities linked with him. The operations continue.
In a rare official statement, the Income Tax Department, without naming him, has said that Sood evaded tax worth Rs 20 crore so far, besides listing other alleged wrongdoings emerging in its continuing probe.
An NGO, ‘SOOD Charity Foundation’, launched by the actor in July 2020 collected donations of Rs 18.94 crore till date of which it spent only Rs 1.90 crore towards various relief measures (for migrants), and the rest lies in the bank accounts.
The SOOD Charity Foundation also raised another Rs 2.10 crore from abroad through a crowd-funding platform, violating provisions of the FCRA, said the tax department.
— with inputs from agencies