Income Tax sleuths on Thursday raided the premises of Jaya TV and its associates over suspected tax evasion as part of the I-T department's 'Operation Clean Money' to weed out black money, sources said.
Searches at the Tamil language television channel, which is perceived to be politically disposed in favour of deposed AIADMK leaders VK Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran, were conducted on Thursday morning.
— ANI (@ANI) November 9, 2017
The allegations against Jaya TV also covers aspects like dubious investments by shell companies, fund flow and fudging of accounts, income tax sources in Chennai told PTI.
Searches at the TV channel's accounts also cover the premises of Midas Distillerie and Jazz Cinemas, they said. The two entities are perceived to be associated with some of those linked to Jaya TV.
According to Times Now, former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa's Kodanad Estate has also been raided along with three properties belonging to Sasikala.
C Rajashekharan, the lawyer representing Jaya TV, alleged political vendetta as the main reason behind the I-T raids. "I don't want to cast aspersions. The I-T department has all the right to conduct raids. But why conduct raids on one particular faction of the AIADMK? The raids should be conducted in an unbiased manner," he was quoted as saying by Times Now.
CR Saraswathi, a Dhinakaran camp loyalist and a party functionary, told the news channel, "Jaya TV has been running for so many years. We have been paying all taxes. We are very popular among the people and our cadre. The state govt doesn't want us. And I think the central govt is helping them."
CNN-News18 said that friends and family members of Sasikala and Dhinakaran are being raided across four states in 187 locations. Six properties of Divaharan, another relative of Sasikala were also being raided.
The Sasikala-Dhinakaran faction of AIADMK has questioned the timing of the raid especially considering the merged OPS-EPS camp of the AIADMk does not have the majority. The TV channel also highlighted how the raids were launched just three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and a day after the anniversary of demonetisation.
"The raids have taken place just a day after the deputy secretary general (Dhinakaran) questioned demonetisation. We are cooperating with the authorities. My simple question is why target the family?" asked Prasanna, spokesperson of the Sasikala-Dhinakaran faction of AIADMK.
The searches were being conducted by more than 10 groups and are still ongoing, sources told PTI.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Nov 09, 2017 10:36 AM