According to a PTI report, Income tax officials inspected at least six houses in Mumbai and Lucknow, all of which were somehow tied to Bollywood actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood. The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon. The I-T authorities’ visit, which was not referred to as ‘raid’, was in conjunction with a suspected tax evasion investigation, according to the report. The officials did not visit Sonu Sood’s residence but the report suggests that the Income-tax department is looking into a real estate deal.
This I-T action, according to Aam Aadmi Party national spokesperson Raghav Chadha, is a witchhunt, and Sonu Sood’s only offense is to stand by those who have been orphaned by the government. Slamming the government, Chadha tweeted “This is nothing but a witch hunt by an insecure government against a giant philanthropist considered a ‘messiah’ by millions. His only crime is that he worked for the welfare of the downtrodden when they were orphaned by the state.” Aam Aadmi Party MLA Atishi also critisized the survey in a video statement, saying it sends a clear message from the BJP that they will target everyone who does good in the country.
The BJP criticized the oppositions for calling the investigation an ‘agenda’. BJP spokesperson, Asif Bhamla said, “There is no relation to that (the Kejriwal meeting). Any personality can meet anyone. It is just a search, not a raid. It’s on a tipoff. It’s not necessary that the person who heads the charity has done anything wrong… It must be something at the lower level. Income Tax is an independent department, which has its own protocol. It is doing its job,”
After garnering national and humanitarian accolades for assisting people during the pandemic, Sonu Sood was named the brand ambassador of the Delhi government’s mentorship programme. Starting with buses for migrant workers in 2020, the Bollywood actor guaranteed that oxygen was available throughout the pandemic’s second wave. The 48-year-old was recognised as a true hero, and the United Nations Development Programme honoured him with a special humanitarian action award.
In 2012, the I-T department raided the homes of several Bollywood celebrities including Sonu Sood. There were certain claims against his Mumbai mansion, which he had purchased for 30 crores, at the time.
Journalist by profession, Adity is a media and communication enthusiast. She is passionate about Bollywood, TV, lifestyle and celebrity reporting.