On Tuesday morning, Income Tax (IT) officers raided the studios and offices of Balaji Telefilms’ head honcho and leading Bollywood producer, Ekta Kapoor. Needless to say, Ekta’s not the only celebrity the IT department has gone after.
We got trade experts and industry insiders to reveal the absurd measures Bollywood personalities have taken to stash money from IT officers.
Trade expert Vinod Mirani says, “Back in the day, IT raids were common. There was a time when Kishore Kumar made officers climb up a tree by telling them he had hidden the money there.”
Senior journalist Bhawana Somaaya says, “Someone once hid money in a pressure cooker and put it on the gas. And one heroine cleverly put money in a tiffin box and sent it to her husband’s office with the domestic staff.”
Playback singer Kumar Sanu is believed to have hidden money inside a water tank.
Tax consultant Asim Thakkar further reveals, “When IT officers raided homes of Bollywood actors, they even ripped apart sofas and furniture to find money.”
A well-placed industry source reveals an incident involving Madhuri Dixit. The source says, “Madhuri had given the money to her then-manager to hide. The money was placed inside walls. However, IT officers went as far as breaking down the walls of her house.”
RECENT RAIDS IN BOLLYWOOD
Priyanka Chopra’s house was raided in January 2011 by the Income Tax department. According to news reports, her father, Dr Ashok Chopra, and the actor’s personal assistant, Chand Mishra, also came under the scrutiny of the department.
Apparently, Priyanka’s then-alleged boyfriend Shahid Kapoor had opened the door, dressed in his shorts, for the IT officials as the raid took place early in the morning. The authorities reportedly found details of hidden income worth Rs 6 crore from Priyanka and other possessions worth Rs 1.5 crore from her father. Their bank account details and financial records, among other documents, were thoroughly checked by the IT department.
Katrina Kaif’s house was also raided in January 2011. As per reports, her alleged-boyfriend, Ranbir Kapoor, had left her residence only hours before the raid occurred. The celebrity-management company, Matrix Entertainment, that handled Katrina’s endorsements back then, had also come under the scanner.
In October 2010, the TDS (tax deduction at source) wing of the IT department conducted surveys at residences and offices of the late filmmaker Yash Chopra, producer Sajid Nadiadwala and Govardhan Tanwani, proprietor of Baba Films.
— Kavita Awaasthi