Income Tax Dept Attaches VK Sasikala’s Assets Worth Rs 300 Crore
The list of 65 properties being attached also includes land opposite Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence.
The Income Tax Department has begun attaching properties worth Rs 300 crore belonging to VK Sasikala, close aide of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. The properties include land opposite Jayalalithaa’s Veda Nilayam residence in Poes Garden.
According to The Hindu, the properties were purchased by Sri Hari Chandana Estates Private Ltd, whose directors are relatives of Sasikala. However, upon investigations, officials said that the company had no business nor money flow. The properties that were purchased between 2003 and 2005 are being attached under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.
Times of India reports that the list consists of at least 65 properties registered in Sasikala’s benami names. A bungalow is being constructed on the land opposite to Veda Nilayam, where Sasikala is expected to live after she is released from the Bengaluru Parappana Agrahara prison.
In 2017, the officials from the Income Tax Department had conducted searches in over 180 properties belonging to Sasikala and her family. The raided locations were spread across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry including the offices of AIADMK mouthpieces Namadhu MGR and Jaya TV.
Searches were also conducted at the same time in the residences of Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan, Kodanad Tea Estate owned by Jayalalithaa, Jazz Cinemas, Sharada Paper and Boards office, Midas Distilleries, Senthil Group of Companies and Nilgiri furniture shop in Coimbatore.
All these were either owned or managed by Sasikala or her family members. The searches were conducted in connection with suspected money laundering, tax evasion, shell companies and dubious transactions.
The authorities had, reportedly, unearthed tax evasion of around Rs 1430 crore during the raids which involved at least 1800 officials from the department. The officials had also seized Rs 7 crore cash and Rs 5 crore worth jewellery during the searches.
Following the raid and the subsequent documents seized, the Income Tax officials questioned Sasikala in December 2018 in the Parappana Agrahara prison, where she is serving her four-year jail term for the Disproportionate Assets (DA) case.
(Published in an arrangment with The News Minute)
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