In a setback for AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, a Chennai court Thursday directed the Tamil Nadu CM to be present before it on April 10 to face trial in an I-T returns case after rejecting her plea seeking exemption from personal appearance in an extremely busy poll season.
Meanwhile, a special court in Bangalore that had directed Jayalalithaa and three other accused to appear before it on April 5 in a disproportionate assets case later revised its order and exempted her from appearing due to security reasons.
The Chennai court has also asked Jayalalithaa’s close aide and business partner Sasikala to appear before it in the case related to non-filing of income tax returns in 1993-94 by the two in their individual capacity. Complaints were also filed by the IT department for allegedly failing to file returns for 1991-92 and 1992-93 by Sasi Enterprises and its partners, Jayalalithaa and Sasikala.
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Rejecting Jayalalithaa’s plea, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R Dakshinamurthy said, “No more petition for condoning her absence and for adjournment will be entertained. Otherwise suitable orders will be passed in accordance with law.”
Jaya’s counsel had sought exemption on the grounds that she was holding a constitutional position as the CM with multifarious responsibilities. Sasikala cited health reasons to seek a 10-day extension. But senior special public prosecutor for I-T cases, K Ramasamy, argued that the accused were trying to protract the proceedings. In Bangalore, judge John Michael Cunha accepted the submission of the court’s registry that it would not be possible to provide security at a short notice for Jayalalithaa’s appearance.