IT dept raids singers, actors, film distributors in Punjab

The investigations wing of the income tax (IT) department on Wednesday seized Rs 80 lakh in cash and a large amount of unaccounted jewellery in raids that were conducted at 28 different places across Punjab to check tax evasion by top Punjabi singers, actors, film distributors and music companies. The department has also sealed 17 bank lockers and share certificates of several movies, including Jat and Juliet and Carry on Jatta.

According to sources in the IT department, over Rs 1 crore in cash have been found from different locations. Sources added that many singers were paying negligible income tax and this prompted them to start such a operation.

Income tax sleuths comprising officers from Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Chandigarh and led by Director (Investigations) H S Sohi conducted the raids, which were continuing till the time of filing the report.

In Ludhiana, residences of singer and actor Daljit Dosanjh (Dugri) and singer Darshan Pal Singh Grewal (Badewal road) were raided. In Rajpura and Mohali, the houses and offices of Miss Pooja, Gippi Grewal and several other singers and actors were raided. At Miss Pooja's house, the IT sleuths found gold jewellery and cash, said sources.

In Jalandhar, the offices of various business houses, including that of music companies and film distributors, were raided. These included offices of the Fastways channel and Speed Record Company. The officers also raided music-cum-film distributor companies based in Jalandhar, including Batra Films.

"Now, we will summon these singers and others. A detailed investigation into the matter will take two to three months," said an officer.

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