Days after the Income Tax department alleged that Bollywood star Sonu Sood and his associates evaded Rs 20 crore tax and violated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) while raising donations from abroad, the actor turned philanthropist has released a statement.
Sharing a note titled as “You don't always have to tell your side of the story. Time will.” Sonu tweeted, “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 life.”
He further added with a quote in Hindi that read, “Kar bhala, ho bhala, ant bhale ka bhala. My journey continues. Jai Hind.”
Sonu captioned the note in Hindi which loosely translates to, ““Easy journey is found even on hard roads. Every Indian's prayers seem to have an effect.”
The Income Tax department had launched searches against the 48-year-old actor and the Lucknow-based group of industries involved in the infrastructure sector on September 15.
"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 (CBDT) claimed in a statement.
It added that, so far, use of 20 such entries have been found and the providers of which, on examination, have "accepted" on oath to have given "bogus" accommodation entries (transaction entries in accounts).
"They have accepted to have issued cheques in lieu of cash. There have been instances where professional receipts have been camouflaged as loans in the books of accounts for the purpose of evasion of tax," the policy-making body for the tax department said.
These bogus loans, it said, have been used for "making investments and acquiring properties."
Sonu Sood shot to national prominence after he arranged free transport through rail, air and road for numerous migrant workers to reach their home states during the nationwide lockdown clamped last year to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The Delhi government, led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, had also recently declared that Sood will be the brand ambassador of the Aam Aadmi Party government's 'Desh ka mentors' programme under which students will be guided in making their career choices.
With PTI Inputs