I-T Department raids properties linked to VK Sasikala and family; tax evasion worth Rs 1,430 crore unearthed

The Income Tax Department has conducted more raids on properties linked to ousted AIADMK leader VK Sasikala and her family in Chennai and Madurai, media reports said on Tuesday.

Over 20 properties were raided in all, belonging to three different business groups. A report on CNN-News18 said the prominent Spectrum Mall and Spectrum multiplex cinema group were part of the properties that were raided.

"Search operations are on... Officials are carrying out searches in the premises of Marg group, S2, and Millennium," an I-T official was quoted by IANS on condition of anonymity.

 I-T Department raids properties linked to VK Sasikala and family; tax evasion worth Rs 1,430 crore unearthed

File image of VK Sasikala. Courtesy: Twitter/@AIADMKOfficial

The raids could be part of the continuing crackdown by the I-T Department on properties owned by Sasikala, her extended family and business associates. Earlier this month, over 40 locations across the country were raided, in which cash and jewellery worth Rs 5 crore was recovered.

In all, the official said, 187 properties have been raided by the I-T Department, which has found evidence of large-scale tax evasion worth Rs 1,430 crore.

Among the properties raided, the official said, was the residence of former Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa.

After the last round of raids concluded on 11 November, Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran had claimed political vendetta, orchestrated by the Centre with assistance from the E Palaniswamy government in Chennai.

On Tuesday, Dhinakaran questioned the timing of the raids again, saying it's "suspicious" that they should take place only days after the Election Commission announced that bypolls to RK Nagar constituency of Chennai, which fell vacant after Jayalalithaa's demise, will take place on 21 December.

A BJP spokesperson denied the accusations. As per CNN-News18, the saffron party disassociated itself from the raids and said the I-T Department should be allowed to function independently. "Why are they questioning the timing of the raids? If they have nothing to hide, they will be cleared by the I-T Department," the party said through a spokesperson.

With inputs from IANS

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Updated Date: Nov 28, 2017 11:49:38 IST