In a candid chat, he fields questions regarding the accusations and says that he continues to be determined to achieve his goals – personal, professional and humanitarian. Excerpts:
In the last one week, as the I-T officials raided your properties in Mumbai, multiple allegations were levelled against you. The list includes unutilised funds in the Sood Charity Foundation, diversion of funds for tax evasion, fake contracts and circular transactions with your business partners-companies etc. How did you react to the allegations?
We have presented every single document, in fact, more documents than they wanted. I don’t have an inch of land in Jaipur or Lucknow as alleged and we have already provided the documents for that. As far as the violation of the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) norms go, any company or a foundation that’s listed for more than three years is eligible for an FCRA registration to receive funds. My foundation is not registered, so I can’t receive these funds. The funds are still lying with the crowdfunding platform. I was just a voice for that platform to raise funds.
All the help goes directly from the crowdfunding platform to the hospital (where a needy patient is being treated) or the medical colleges for education. Saying that I violated FCRA norms is wrong because the money didn’t come to India or to my foundation. There is not even one dollar, one cent or a penny that has reflected in my account. Every single person that we treated medically, we have given all the documents related to it, like the details of the patient, hospital, doctor, even their PAN numbers and phone numbers have been provided to the officials. We have every single thing on record, like details about whom we helped and how we helped. We have presented all the documents to the honourable department.
There was one point that drew everyone’s attention more than the other allegations — that out of the ₹18.94 crore of donations collected through your foundation, only a small percentage (₹1.9 crore) was put to use. Why is that? How do you plan to utilise it?
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