2-year jail term of Sasikala`s husband suspended
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 12, 2010, 22:38
Chennai: The Madras High Court today suspended the two-year jail term awarded to M Natarajan, husband of Sasikala, a close aide of former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa, who was found guilty of cheating the exchequer of over Rs one crore in importing a car by fabricating documents.

Suspending the sentence on an appeal by Natarajan against a special CBI court's July 26 order convicting him, Justice T Sudanthiram ordered notice to the CBI.

The judge also suspended a similar sentence handed down to the manager of a city branch of a nationalised bank who was also convicted in the case.

Principal Special Judge for CBI cases T Ravindran, who had also slapped Natarajan, Director of Tamilarasi Publications with a fine of Rs 20,000, had suspended the jail terms to enable them appeal against their convictions.

Two others -- V Bhaskaran, a nephew of Sasikala and one Yogesh Balakrishnan, residing in London were also sentenced to two years RI each and fined Rs 20,000 and Rs 40,000 respectively. The woman bank manager was fined Rs 20,000.

According to CBI, Natarajan and Bhaskaran fraudulently and dishonestly fabricated documents for the purpose of clearing a Lexus car, imported by Balakrishnan, to take advantage of the Residence provision by misdeclaring that the vehicle had been manufactured in 1993 instead of 1994.

They had thus caused a loss of over Rs 1.06 crore to the customs department, it said.

Bhaskaran was a signatory to operate the current account of the publications.

In pursuance of the conspiracy, the branch manager had misused her official position by illegal means and issued a Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) to the effect that the car would be released by customs on the basis of the certificate, knowing full well that the current account of the Publications had not received any foreign remittance, a pre-condition for paying the customs duty under FIRC, it said.

The car had arrived by ship at Chennai port on September 6, 1994.


First Published: Thursday, August 12, 2010, 22:38

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