Two Bollywood actors are under the scanner of the income tax (I-T) department and Enforcement Directorate (ED) after investigations revealed that they had received cash payments from former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda.
Koda is being investigated for illegally amassing wealth close to Rs 4,000 crore. Of this, Rs 1,500 crore was allegedly handled and transferred by Mumbai-based Balaji Group through hawala (illegal way of transferring money) transactions.
Investigating agencies have found that one of the actors was paid Rs 40 lakh while the other had received Rs 10 lakh. The agencies have found that Koda’s Mumbai contacts paid the money to these actors.
Investigators have found that the money was paid to the two actors in cash in Mumbai last year on different occasions. “We are going through the documents seized from Koda and his aides to find out why these actresses were paid money and that too in cash,” a senior I-T official posted in Delhi said.
Koda had attempted to make one of these actors the brand ambassador of Jharkhand in 2008. He wanted her to promote the state as an investment destination but dropped the plan because of criticism from the opposition.
One of the aspects being investigated is to see whether the payments made to these actresses were for any official purposes — like their presence in some state function while Koda was the chief minister — and if so, then why was it made in cash.
The agencies are also investigating Koda’s investments in Bollywood projects. The officials refused to give details of the projects in which Koda had invested money as the investigation is at a preliminary stage.