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Tuesday,13-April-2021

Bollywood

Raids on Anurag Kashyap and Pannu: Manipulation in crores found, says IT dept

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The searches at the premises of filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and his partners who launched the now shuttered production house Phantom Films, and Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu by the Income Tax (IT) department have landed them in trouble as the tax agency has found “discrepancy and manipulation of income” running into crores.

The Income Tax department carried out the searches at 28 locations in Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune on premises linked to Phantom Films, Kashyap, Pannu, Vikas Bahl, Madhu Mantena and some executives of talent management company KWAN and also another talent management company.

In a statement, the IT department said that it was carrying out search and survey operations which started on March 3 on two leading film production companies, a leading actress and two talent management companies in Mumbai.

It said that the searches are being carried out at Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad. “The group is mainly engaged in the business of production of motion pictures, web series, acting, direction and talent management of celebrities and other artists. A total of 28 premises are being covered in different locations which include residences and offices,” it said.

“During the search, evidence of huge suppression of income by the leading film production house compared to the actual box office collections has been unearthed. The company officials have not been able to explain discrepancy of around Rs 300 crore,” it said.

The IT department informed that evidence related to manipulation and under-valuation of share transactions of the production house amongst the film directors and shareholders, having tax implication of about Rs 350 crore has been found and is being investigated.

Commenting on the searches at the premises of Pannu, the IT department said, “Evidence of cash receipts by the leading actress amounting to Rs 5 crore has been recovered. Further investigation is going on.”

It said that apart from this, non-genuine or bogus expenditure to related concerns by the leading producers or director having tax implication of about Rs 20 crore has been detected.

“Similar findings have been made in the case of the leading actress also,” it said.

The IT department also said that at the office premises of the two talent management companies, a huge amount of digital data has been seized in the form of emails, whatsapp chats, hard disk etc which are under investigation.

“During the search, 7 bank lockers have been found which have been placed under restraint,” it added.

According to IT department sources, Pannu and Kashyap were also questioned by the IT sleuths in Pune, where they were shooting a film.

Phantom Films was established by Kashyap, director Vikramaditya Motwane, producer Madhu Mantena and the former head of UTV Spotboy, Vikas Bahl, in 2011 before being dissolved in 2018.

Kashyap, Bahl and Pannu have been vocal on social media platforms and have also raised concerns over the farmers’ protest, which has been going on on the borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three new farm laws.

Bollywood

Singer Rahul Vaidya: Won’t compare if singers are bigger than actors

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Ever since singer Rahul Vaidya proposed to his girlfriend, model-actress Disha Parmar, on “Bigg Boss 14”, their fans have been excited to know when the duo will take the relationship to its next level.

A few days back, Rahul and Disha raised expectations of fans by posting “wedding pictures” that promptly went viral. It turned out soon enough the stills were of the new music video “Madhanya” that features Rahul and Disha.

The element of romance in his personal life has surely made Rahul, a teenybopper star since his “Indian Idol” days, a bigger glamour figure than ever before in his public life. Over the past months, he has constantly been in the news – first, because of his good form on “Bigg Boss 14” (he finished first runner-up) and then, of course, there has been his much-talked-about romance.

Does he feel he has been enjoying a filmstar-like popularity lately, or perhaps he enjoys a fan base bigger than many filmstars?

“I won’t want to compare if we are bigger than filmstars or not. Everyone has their space, it is beautiful. Everyone puts in insane amount of hard work. Musicians have a different kind of hard work and actors have a different kind. Everyone has their space,” Rahul took a diplomatic line, in conversation with IANS.

He acknowledges that singers enjoy a massive fan base around the world, and the culture has finally trickled to India.

“I absolutely love actors and I think that is fantastic. In the West, Justin Bieber has more fans as music is universal. Musicians have hardcore fans. That culture has come to India, too. It’s come bigtime. Pop stars get attention and love and that is beautiful,” he said.

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Bollywood

Neeraj Ghaywan: Patriarchy, class, gender, sexuality are good to explore

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National Award-winning director Neeraj Ghaywan, who shot to fame helming “Masaan”, is wielding the megaphone back in the upcoming anthology “Ajeeb Daastaans”. He has directed the segment titled “Geeli Pucchi” starring Aditi Rao Hydari and Konkona Sen Sharma.

The story traces a lesbian romance between its two female protagonists, but goes beyond its relationship plot to look at the complexity of patriarchy, class, gender and sexuality, which he feels is good to explore.

This is not the first time that Ghaywan has brought forward these elements in his work. His globally-feted 2015 release “Masaan” showcased all these, too.

So much is said lately about inclusivity and yet sections of society continue to suffer, and remain marginalised. The issue, of course, is more complicated than it seems, feels Ghaywan.

“If you are talking about the marginalised communities and the subaltern, there is never a single identity. They are fused identities. There’s intersection specifically with women. For instance, both of them (Aditi and Konkana) are subject to patriarchy, even though they come from different sections of society (and) different communities,” Ghayan told IANS.

He said just like the characters suffer in the film, it happens in real life, too.

“They are both victims but at the same time pursuing a job, a career. They experience different treatment and this is true in all of India. I am more interested not just about a particular community or, of course, nobody talks about it as much as we should and that has been my penchant to bring out these stories,” he added.

Ghaywan’s intent with “Geeli Pucchi” was to get into the “complexity of intersection, which we don’t talk much about in the industry”.”See, patriarchy or class or gender or sexuality — or all of these things — are good to explore, and that is what my intent was,” he told IANS.

Talking about the interesting title he reserved for “Geeli Pucchi”, Ghaywan said: “It was a part of a dialogue, and I felt it was a key point of inflection between the two characters. I think it is a click-bait title, too.”

He started out directing with the 2013 anthology “Shorts”, and in an eight-year run has made only one full-length feature film — “Masaan”. He says he is having the “second film syndrome” and hence has not come out with a full-fledged film yet.”I think it is called the second film syndrome. I am grappling with it and I am still dealing with it. It is kind of complex, but I hope I will make a film this year. I have been badly wanting to. Right now, I am working on ‘Made In Heaven’ but after this I will start off with my second film,” he said.

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Sanya Malhotra flaunts perfect skin in latest photo-op

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Actress Sanya Malhotra shared a new picture on social media on Tuesday and she looks every inch stunning in the post.

In the Instagram image, Sanya is dressed in an ivory crochet dress with a plunging neckline. The actress is seen flaunting her curly hair and she looks a way from the camera.

Sanya captioned her post with a sun emoji.

Sanya’s latest film “Pagglait” released on OTT a while back. In the film, she is Sandhya, a young woman who becomes a widow with in a few months of marriage. While the family grieves, Sandhya is unable to bring herself to mourn the death of her husband.

The dramedy, directed by Umesh Bist, also features Sayani Gupta, Shrutii Sharma, Ashutosh Rana, Raghubir Yadav, Sheeba Chaddha, Meghna Malik and Rajesh Tailang.

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