Income Tax case against Jayalalithaa adjourned

A local court here on Tuesday adjourned to August 21 the hearing in an income tax case against Tamil Nadu chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala.

Chennai: A local court here on Tuesday adjourned to August 21 the hearing in an income tax case against Tamil Nadu chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala.

When the case came up before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM), R Dakshinamurthy, counsel for Jayalalithaa and Saskikala told the court that the application for compounding the alleged offences on Income tax returns case was pending and reserved for orders before the tax authorities.

Hence, he prayed that the case be adjourned and allowing the plea, the court posted the matter to August 21.

During the previous hearing on July 24, the defence counsel apprised the court that the compounding petition was posted for hearing on July 28 by the tax authorities.

The I-T department had launched criminal proceedings against Jayalalithaa and Sasikala for allegedly not filing returns in their individual capacity for the assessment year 1993-94.

Complaints were also filed by the I-T department against Sasi Enterprises represented by its partners, Jayalalithaa and Sasikala for allegedly failing to file returns for the assessment years 1991-92 and 1992-93.

Discharge petitions filed by the accused were later dismissed by the Madras High Court. Jayalalithaa and Sasikala preferred appeals before the Supreme Court. Dismissing their appeals on January 30, the apex court had directed the lower court to complete the trial in four months. 

Counsel Amit Desai, appearing for Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala and her relatives VN Sudhakaran, disowned son of the former chief minister, and Ilavarasi, who have also been sent to four years in jail in the 18-year old case, pleaded for bail.

He told the court that no witness talked of assets acquired by the three and suspicion cannot take the place of evidence. They had no involvement in bulk of the assets.

Special Court Judge John Michael D' Cunha, in his September 27 verdict, had held Jayalalithaa and three others guilty of corruption that unseated her as Chief Minister. He had slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on Jayalalithaa and Rs 10 crore each on the three other accused.

In her petitions seeking immediate bail and challenging her sentence, Jayalalithaa has maintained that the charge of amassing wealth against her during 1991-96 when she was chief minister for the first time was false and that she had acquired property through legal means.

Jayalalitha has also contended that the trial court has overlooked several judgements and has not considered the binding nature of various income tax orders and decisions of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, which had accepted the income and the level of expenditure pleaded by her. 

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