Priyanka goes from I-T icon to suspect

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Mumbai: Bollywood beauty Priyanka Chopra whose premises were searched by the Income Tax department had only last year starred in a short promotional film aimed to spread the message of tax compliance.

Chopra along with Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar had featured in a 20-minute-long documentary by the I-T department which was unveiled by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on July 24 in New Delhi to mark the first ever 'Income Tax Day'.

The actors in the film had appealed to the public to pay their taxes diligently and honestly.

In an interesting twist of fate, I-T sleuths swooped upon Chopra's apartment in suburban Versova while the residence of her father, Ashok Chopra, in suburban Lokhandwala, was also raided besides the premises of the actor's secretary Chand Mishra.

The searches were conducted yesterday morning as the department suspected tax evasion on brand endorsements, offshore assignments and private appearances by the actor who has starred in films like 'Dostana', 'Anjaana Ajaani', 'Kaminey'.

I-T officers are now checking her income received from advertisements, foreign assignments and guest appearances.

"The I-T department had approached the actors including Chopra for the documentary as they are considered youth icons and Aamir (Khan) and Akshay (Kumar) were amongst the top tax payers in the film industry," a senior I-T officer said.

But, when it comes to professional duties, the department will conduct inquiries against anyone and everyone, the officer added.

Another actor Katrina Kaif was also covered in yesterday's searches.

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