“You don't always have to tell your side"
Sonu Sood has broken his silence on the investigation into his finances.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes had alleged that the actor and his associates had evaded Rs. 20 Crore (£1.98 million) worth of taxes.
The CBDT also accused Sonu of violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) while raising donations from abroad.
Sonu Sood was at the front of a fundraising operation during the Covid-19 pandemic. He stated he had raised money for those seeking medical assistance.
A subsequent investigation into his finances allegedly revealed discrepancies.
The 48-year-old has now opened up on the matter.
In a statement on social media, Sonu said:
“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 to humanitarian causes too, which keeps us going.”
The lengthy statement continued:
“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.”
Sonu concluded: “A good deed always comes around. My journey continues. Jai Hind.”
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— sonu sood (@SonuSood) September 20, 2021
The CBDT said that the charity foundation was set up by Sonu and was created on July 21, 2020.
Since April 1, 2021, it has collected around Rs. 18 Crore (£1.78 million) in donations.
The CBDT stated that the foundation has spent around Rs. 1.9 Crore (£188,000) for various relief work and approximately Rs. 17 Crore (£1.6 million) has been found lying “unutilised” in its bank account.
The statement claimed that around Rs. 2.1 Crore (£208,000) in funds has also been raised from overseas donors on a crowdfunding platform “in violation” of FCRA regulations.
In a statement, the CBDT said:
“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.”
On September 15, 2021, the Income Tax department had searched 28 premises in Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jaipur, Delhi and Gurgaon in connection with its case against Sonu Sood and a Lucknow-based real estate firm.