MUMBAI: Sonu Sood has been a renowned actor and philanthropist. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he helped migrant labourers in travelling back to their villages and was also seen helping out underprivileged students, among others.
It has been alleged that after his collaboration with Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party Government in NCT of Delhi, for a school mentorship programme he has been facing raids consecutively on multiple locations by the Income Tax Department.
The Income Tax Department without mentioning actor Sonu Sood’s name said on Saturday that he has evaded over Rs. 20 crore in taxes. The Income Tax Department on September 15 had done search operations in 28 premises at Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jaipur, Delhi and Gurgaon in connection with Sonu Sood and a Lucknow-based real estate firm.
According to the tax authorities, Sood’s charity foundation that was started last July raised 18.94 crores from April 2021 till today and has spent only Rs. 1.7 crore in relief work. The remaining amount has not been utilised as of yet.
It is also alleged that Rs. 2.1 crore was raised from outside of India which violates the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
For almost four consecutive days Sonu Sood’s charity was in limelight. Sonu Sood has recently published his statement and cleared the air surrounding the evasion of Rs. 20 crore amount.
He said that “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 keep us going.”
He has also stated the reason behind his late response to the investigation, “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.”
The ruling party in Maharashtra Shiv Sena and Delhi’s AAP have questioned the timing of Income Tax Department’s searches linked with Sonu Sood’s recent tie-up with AAP for an education mentorship programme.