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Amitabh BachchanAmitabh denies owning expensive sunglasses
12th June 2006  11.15 IST
By Agencies  

There appears to be no end to superstar Amitabh Bachchan 's troubles with the Income Tax authorities.

The superstar's latest trouble with the IT Dept is over a pair of sunglasses claimed to be worth Rs 2.7 lakhs and a bungalow in Mumbai.

Bachchan, who carved a niche in Bollywood playing an angry young man about three decades ago, is reported to have shot off an angry letter to Income Tax Commissioner S C Gupta saying it was "most improbable" the sunglasses would cost Rs 2.7 lakhs. As for the house "Jalsa", registered in the name of his actress wife Jaya, the Bachchans have submitted documents to the authorities to show the property was legally gifted by Bachchan's sister-in-law Ramola in 1993 and that all taxes and stamp duty related to it have been paid.

The issue of the sunglasses arose after a Mumbai tabloid carried a report on May 29 saying Bachchan had visited New York over a year ago solely to purchase the eyewear and later gifted them to S Ramanathan, the director of the star's new film Zamaanat .

In his letter dated June 10 to Gupta, Bachchan said he never spoken to any journalist from the tabloid, and the quotes attributed to him in the report were "false, mischievous, incorrect and malicious". The actor said he was writing the letter as he anticipated "yet another notice from the department over the contents" of the report. "I am hastening to inform you in advance and perhaps, to prevent your department from taking the trouble of sending me another notice..."

The Income Tax authorities had sent a notice on April 21 to Jaya on Jalsa following another report over ownership and registration of the property in the same tabloid.

The May 29 article in the tabloid had also referred to Bachchan's ownership of 1,000 pens and the clothes worn by him. In his letter to Gupta, the superstar asserted the "incorrectness of this claim" and said the clothes worn by him in films are designed by several concerns, including Gabbana.

He said the concerns would be "better placed to answer" any questions on the clothes. Bachchan said media reports on such matters are "generally laced with rumour, gossip and malicious intent".

"As the highest tax payer in my category in the city and as a decorated, honest and law-abiding citizen of this country, I wonder whether there is any justification for these kind of notices sent to me and the veracity of these much repeated queries," he asked.

Noting he was obliged to answer government agencies like the Income Tax department if they sought clarifications on rumours, Bachchan said he felt this was setting "bad precedents" and asked for a "compassionate" consideration of the matter.

Bachchan has been served notices by the Income Tax authorities three times since November last year, and paid Rs 5 crore as taxes even as he was being treated for a serious stomach ailment in a hospital late last year.

Amitabh Bachchan

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