Income Tax Dept Opposes Jayalalithaa’s Plea for Stay on I-T Case Trial
The Income Tax Department went hammer and tongs at a trial court hearing the income tax returns cases against Tamil Nandu chief minister Jayalalitha and her frien N Sasikala, saying it had acted like an advocate of the accused.
The Madras high court that the economic offences court at Egmore here had granted more than 100 adjournments to the duo thus far and even the Supreme Court order directing it to complete trial within a time limit had not improved the situation, said by Senior prosecutor of the income tax department K Ramaswamy.
Justice KBK Vasuki, said she would pass orders on the matter on Wednesday, He is hearing four stay the ongoing proceedings in the economic offences court at Egmore here.
Under Section 276(CC) of the IT Act it is punishable offence that both two are facing cases for their alleged wilful failure to file tax returns for the years 1992-93 and 1993-94. The cases were filed in the year 1996. After inordinate delay, the case bounced back to life after the Supreme Court on January 30 directed the trial court to complete the trial within four months. The court extended the date till September 6, 2014 by another order.
They have filed the present petition saying their applications for compounding the offences were pending before the income tax department and that the trial court should not hear the case until a decision was taken on their applications as they have been asked to be present in the trial court on October 1.
A Navaneethakrishnan, another senior counsel and party MP who is representing Sasikala, said it was a compoundable offence and hence the benefit should be given to the applicants. Ramaswamu said that neither the trial court nor the high court had any jurisdiction to entertain any petition seeking extension of deadline laid down by the Supreme Court he also said a remedy for the two was to approach the apex court and obtain some direction or the other. He also wondered as to why they were afraid to approaching the Supreme Court.
In court nothing that the compounding an offence was departmental proceedings and hence not binding on criminal proceedings, Ramaswamy said that both could proceed parallel and independent of each other. The Veteran prosecutor said while wishing the two leaders if they succeeded, the benefit would go to them. He also said anticipating any order or progress, the criminal proceedings should not be held up.
Ramaswamy said the income tax department had already constituted a committee involving three chief IT commissioners to handle the applications, but made it clear that even compounding of the offence would be done only after obtaining necessary instructions from the apex court, and also said the supreme court is monitoring the case.