I-T Dept Attaches Rs 1,600 Crore ‘Benami’ Assets of Sasikala

Sources said alleged ‘benami’ assets were purchased by Sasikala by using about Rs 1,500 crore of demonetised notes.

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File photo of VK Sasikala.

The Income Tax department has attached 'benami' assets worth Rs 1,600 crore belonging to V K Sasikala, an aide to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, officials said on Tuesday, 5 November.

Nine properties, located in Chennai, Puducherry and Coimbatore, were procured soon after demonetisation in November 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that the two high-value notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 are not legal tenders, they said.

Sources said these alleged ‘benami’ assets were purchased by Sasikala by using about Rs 1,500 crore of demonetised notes and the assets were taken under fictitious identities.

The officials said a provisional order of attachment against Sasikala, lodged in a jail in Bengaluru after being convicted in a disproportionate assets case, has been issued under section 24(3) of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988.

The law was lying inoperative and was enforced from November 2016 by the Modi government.

The officials said payments for purchasing these assets were made in "cash" and "MoUs" were signed between the executing parties.

The tax department had conducted massive raids against Sasikala and a few others in 2017 and it is understood that the documents about these assets were recovered then.

She has been questioned by the taxman in connection with this case in the past.

Sasikala, who took over the reins of the AIADMK after the death of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, was later removed from the party by the Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led camp.

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