Actor Taapsee Pannu and director Anurag Kashyap resumed shooting for their film Dobaaraa today, both using social media to speak for the first time since I-T raids on their premises with posts indicating that their spirit remains intact. “With all our love to all the haters,” Kashyap said in a message on Instagram to announce the resumption of the shooting of his new film. He also shared an on-set picture of Taapsee and himself laughing and showing the victory sign.
Earlier, in the day Taapsee put out three tweets on an “alleged bungalow” in Paris, the “alleged receipt” of Rs 5 crore, and her “memory of 2013 raid.” These were the first comments from Anurag and Taapsee both outspoken and known for expressing their views on a range of issues since the Income Tax Department began searching their homes and offices on March 3. The raids also covered Anurag’s partners, who launched the now-shuttered production house Phantom Films with him.
Taapsee’s three-point statement on Twitter took a jibe at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement that the actor was raided in 2013 as well. Nirmala Sitharaman said the same people were raided in 2013 as well, but no issue was made out then as it is being done now. Refusing to comment on individual cases, she said it is in the national interest to know if some evasion is happening.
Following Taapsee, Anurag, who was working on Dobaaraa with the actor before the IT raids, also decided to break his radio silence on social media with a special message for the “haters” and announcement about restarting the film. However, the filmmaker refrained from directly addressing the raids. Dobaaraa marks the second collaboration between the actor and the filmmaker, who previously worked on the 2018 romance drama Manmarziyaan.
The searches targeting Taapsee and Anurag are part of a tax evasion probe against Phantom Films. They also covered Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibhasish Sarkar and some executives of celebrity and talent management companies KWAN and Exceed, officials said. The others searched included some employees of Phantom Films, which was dissolved in 2018, and its then promoters Anurag Kashyap, director-producer Vikramaditya Motwane, producer Vikas Bahl and producer-distributor Madhu Mantena.
The business transactions of films made under the banner of Phantom Films are also being probed.
The Income Tax Department has detected financial irregularities of over Rs 650 crore after it raided two film production companies, two talent management companies and a leading actress, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has claimed. “Evidence of cash receipts by the leading actress amounting to Rs 5 crore has been recovered and further investigation is going on,” the CBDT said in a statement. Also, “non-genuine or bogus expenditure” to related concerns by the leading producers and directors having tax implications of about Rs 20 crore has been detected, the statement said. Similar findings have been made in the case of the leading actress also,” it alleged.