The Income Tax (I-T) Department is carrying out surveys at premises linked to actor and Good Samaritan Sonu Sood in Mumbai. I-T officials are also conducting a survey in a company premises linked to the actor in Lucknow, according to media reports.
The surveys are being carried out in connection with an alleged tax evasion probe. Sources said that the surveys are being carried out at around half a dozen locations in Mumbai and Lucknow. A real-estate deal is also under the scanner of the I-T department.
Centre facing criticism
As the news of the surveys at premises linked to Sonu Soon spread, several political parties criticised the Centre for the action. Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Raghav Chadha said, “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.”
The 48-year-old actor won praise for his charity work during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for organising special flights for migrants stranded by last year’s lockdown, desperate to go home. Sonu Sood’s humanitarian efforts have endeared him to legions of fans, with many bombarding him daily with requests for help.
Sonu Sood’s AAP connection
The I-T action comes weeks after Sonu Sood was roped in as brand ambassador by the Delhi government for its ambitious ‘Desh Ke Mentors’ programme that aims to guide students from poor backgrounds in making career choices.
Making the announcement, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said, “Some of the students in government schools come from very poor backgrounds and there are very few people to guide them. We are appealing to educated people to become mentors for these children. Sonu Sood will be our brand ambassador for the programme.”
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