Tax raids on Karnataka actors, producers continue in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru, Jan 4 (IANS) Searches by the Income-Tax sleuths of four top Kannada film actors and three producers continued on the second day in their premises across the city for alleged tax evasion, an official said on Friday.

“The searches are on in all the premises of the actors and producers. We cannot say if they conclude by Friday, as the officials are going through voluminous files, documents and other materials related to source of income, investments and collections,” the official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

The four Kannada or sandalwood super stars are Shivaraj Kumar, his younger brother Puneeth Kumar, Sudeep and Yash. The three film producers are Rockline Venkatesh, C.R. Manohar and B. Vijay Kiragandhur.

“A press note can be issued only after the searches are completed,” added the official.

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About 30 teams consisting of 5-6 officers in each team from the Income Tax (Investigations) cell began the search and seize operation on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. in 27 locations across the city where the actors and producers have their offices and residences.

The searches are being conducted under Section 132 of the Income-Tax Act, 1961, after warrants were issued to the actors and producers in advance.

Super stars Shivaraj and Puneeth are the sons of Kannada matinee idol and thespian Rajkumar.

According to sources in the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), the searches were in connection with a couple of recent films with which the actors and producers concerned were associated.

“The films were produced with mega budgets and sold to distributors and exhibitors at a high premium. As they were a superhit at the box office, the collections were also huge. The tax sleuths are verifying accounts and transactions incurred in the films,” a KFCC source told IANS on Thursday.

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Some of the blockbusters are Manohar’s ‘Villain’, starring Shivaraj and Sudeep and Vijaykumar’s ‘KGF’ by Yash. Venkatesh’s ‘Nata Parahumana’ with Puneeth as its hero is yet to be released.

–IANS

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