The Income Tax Department on Wednesday has freeze assets worth about Rs 2,000 crore owned by VK Sasikala, a close aide of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Late J Jayalalithaa under the Benami Prohibition Act. Two properties worth Rs 300 crore are also included in the frozen properties.
The Income Tax Department has seized nearly 11 acres of land of VN Sudhakaran, nephew of VK Sasikala. Apart from this, the department has also seized the property of Sasikala and her relatives in Kodnad near the tourist spot Ooty. The Benami Prohibition Branch of the Income Tax Department has posted notices outside these properties.
According to the Income Tax Department, Sudhakaran has been barred from transferring 11 acres of land and to another person. According to the provisional seizure order, Sudhakaran will not be able to transfer this land until further orders.
Sasikala, Sudhakaran and another relative of his are in Bangalore jail after being convicted in the Ilavarasi corruption case. A copy of the provisional order to seize Sudhakaran’s property in Siruthavoor village has been sent to Jayalalithaa’s nephew J Deepak and niece J Deepa. In August, the Income Tax Department said that 65 properties of Sasikala and her associates had been seized. In 2017, the Income Tax Department raided 187 properties of Sasikala and her relatives.
About a year ago, assets worth 1,600 crores belonging to VK Sasikala were attached under the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act. This information was given by the Income Tax Department. At that time, it was alleged that VK Sasikala had bought the properties from old notes using fictitious names.
In this case, VK Sasikala is expected to be released from Central Jail, Bengaluru on January 27, 2021, where she is serving a sentence in the disproportionate assets case. In an RTI, the information was revealed in response to the Superintendent of the Central Jail in Bangalore. The Superintendent of Police also said that the possible date of Sasikala’s release may vary if she uses the parole facility.
In response to the application of RTI activist T Narasimha Murthy on September 11, it was mentioned that if Sasikala fails to submit the fine then her release will be postponed to 27 February 2022. The official further said that the possible release date may change if Sasikala uses the parole facility. It was also said that due to non-payment of a fine of Rs 10 crore, she may have to remain in jail for a further 13 months.
It is to be noted that the Supreme Court had upheld the conviction of Sasikala on 14 February 2017 in a disproportionate assets case. The apex court had sentenced her and her relatives to four years of imprisonment in the case. She was sentenced by the trial court in September 2014. These days she is serving a jail sentence. There were some reports in the that Sasikala and her aides were getting special facilities in the jail. However, the jail administration rejected these charges outright.