Mumbai/ New Delhi: Actor Taapsee Pannu, who was raided last week by Income Tax officials, said today that she had “nothing to fear” and had no idea why the raids took place. “If I have done something wrong, I will serve the punishment,” the actor told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
Taapsee Pannu said she and her family had cooperated with the procedure. It was the media that had joined the dots and said the Rs 5 crore receipts could have been hers, even though the tax department did not say that this was found at her house.
The Income Tax Department on March 3 began raids on the homes and offices of Taapsee Pannu and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap as well as his partners, who launched the now-shuttered production house Phantom Films.
The searches, part of a tax evasion probe against Phantom Films, carried out across 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, also covered Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibhasish Sarkar and some executives of celebrity and talent management companies KWAN and Exceed.
“I was wondering who is giving me Rs 5 crore. There were stories of me having a bungalow in Paris. I answered all the questions asked by the Income Tax officers. My family and I cooperated with the IT department,” said Ms Pannu, describing the raids as “intimidating” in the beginning.
“If there is anything wrong it will come out, I can’t hide anything. If I have done something wrong, I will serve the punishment.”
Asked why she thought the raids took place, she said: “There is no way to confirm why I was raided. When IT raids happed, there is no option but to follow procedure.”
Ms Pannu also reacted to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comments on the raids.
Nirmala Sitharaman last week said filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu were raided in 2013 as well, but no issue was made out then as being done now.
“First of all, I am not commenting on any A or B individual. (But) since the names were taken, (I want to say) the very same names were raided in 2013,” she said in an interaction with journalists at IWPC (Indian Women’s Press Corps).
It “wasn’t an issue (in 2013). It’s an issue now,” she said.
Ms Pannu today said: “It was nice of the Finance Minister to say that it’s a procedure, don’t sensationalise it.”