Film
IT officials are examining transactions made by the producers and actors, and have not confirmed on what suspicions the searches are being conducted.

The Karnataka Income Tax Department conducted searches on several high-profile members of the Kannada film industry on Thursday. In a series of simultaneous searches, officials of the IT department arrived at the residences of actors Puneet Rajkumar, Shivrajkumar, Yash, Sudeep, and producers Rockline Venkatesh, CR Manohar, and Vijay Kiragandur, among many others, early on Thursday morning.

“We are conducting searches on many members of the Kannada film industry. The searches are happening in as many as 25 locations in Bengaluru,” said an official from the IT department speaking to TNM.

This is one of the biggest such searches conducted on members of the Kannada film industry, with officials coordinating simultaneous searches at residences of several high-profile names of the industry.

The searches began as early as 6.30 am on Thursday in different areas of Bengaluru. This included the residence of producer Rockline Venkatesh in Mahalakshmi Layout in Bengaluru, the residence of Shivrajkumar near Manyata Tech Park, the residence of Puneet Rajkumar at Sadashivanagar and the residence of actor Sudeep in Jayanagar. Searches were also conducted at the residence of CR Manohar, MLC and producer of the 2018 film The Villain, which starred Shivrajkumar and Sudeep. 

Puneet Rajkumar and Shivrajkumar are the sons of legendary Kannada actor Rajkumar and are considered part of the first family of the Kannada film industry. Rockline Venkatesh is an actor and producer known for distributing Kannada, Tamil and Hindi films through the company he founded – Rockline Entertainments. The company has produced over 25 films, including the Salman Khan starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan in 2015.

The officials are examining transactions made by the producers and actors, and have not confirmed whether the searches are being done based on suspicions of tax evasion or misappropriation of funds.

For Vijay Kiragandur and Yash, the development comes on the back of a successful end to 2018 with the release of KGF (Kolar Gold Fields): Chapter 1, which stormed the box office. According to film trade reports, the earnings of KGF has crossed Rs 154 crore worldwide. Vijay Kiragandur is also set to produce KGF: Chapter 2.