SC grants 3 more months for wrapping up trial in Jaya's IT case

SC grants 3 more months for wrapping up trial in Jaya's IT case

The Supreme Court today extended by 3 months the four-month deadline for wrapping up the trial in the alleged tax evasion case involving Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in view of ongoing general elections.

However, the apex court said  the trial court in Chennai will take appropriate steps for ensuring the personal appearance of Jayalalithaa and other accused after it was alleged that they were adopting dilatory tactics.

A bench, comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Vikramajit Sen, said the trial court will commence the proceedings after the completion of the election.

Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the income tax department, submitted there was no objection to extending the deadline for completing the trial but it should be made clear that the accused should not be exempted from personal appearance before the trial court.

The apex court had on January 30 cleared the decks for Jayalalithaa's prosecution for not filing income tax returns in 1993-94 and asked a lower court to wrap up the trial in four months from the date of receipt of the order.  Refusing to discharge her from the criminal case, the apex court had also given a green signal for the prosecution of her close aide S Sasikala also for not filing IT return for the same year and against company Sasi Enterprises, a partnership firm of Jayalalithaa and Sasikala, for allegedly evading tax in the assessment years 1991-92 and 1992-93.

They are being prosecuted under Section 276CC of the Income Tax Act, which provides for rigorous imprisonment for a term ranging from 6 months to 7 years in cases where the amount of tax evasion detected exceeds Rs 1 lakh.

Jayalalithaa's final tax liability was determined at Rs.12,54,395 as per the order of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal after giving credit to pre-paid tax and for Sasikala it was Rs.9,81,870. The firm's tax liability was Rs.32,63,482 for the assessment year 1991-92 and Rs.52,47,594 for 1992-93.

Sasi Enterprises was formed as a partnership firm by a deed dated February 06, 1989 with Sasikala and one T V Dinakaran as its partners, which was later reconstituted with effect from May 4, 1990 with Jayalalithaa and Sasikala as partners.

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