Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's house in Chennai was attached by the Income Tax (IT) department for nearly ten years. The IT department had attached the property due to the late CMs tax dues amounting to Rs 16.74 crore.
It was revealed to the Madras High court by P Srinivas, a counsel for the IT department, during the hearing on a petition filed to stop the conversion of Jayalalithaa's residence into a memorial.
Jayalalithaa's house 'Veda Nilayam' in Poes Garden, a posh housing colony in Chennai, was under attachment by the department since 2007, along with two other properties in Chennai and one in Hyderabad.
The details were issued after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by an activist, KR Ramaswamy, and another individual before the division bench of justices Vineet Kothari and Anita Sumanth over acquiring the residence and converting it into a memorial using the taxpayer's money.
On January 3, the HC had directed the IT department to give its response as to whether it had any objection towards the acquisition of the property by the state government.
On this, the Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, G Shoba, filed the counter-affidavit which contained information about the demands raised under the Income Tax Act against the former CM and a list of four immovable properties under attachment, including her house.
According to the counter-affidavit, Jayalaithaa's wealth tax dues as on December 2018, including interest for the assessment years 1990-91 to 2011-12, was around Rs 10.12 crore. She also had an income tax due of Rs 6.62 crore for the assessment years 2005-06 and 2011-12.
Advocate General Vijay Narayan, who appeared for the state government, said that he would find out if the attached property can be acquired by the government legally. And if the law permits such an acquisition then the government can deposit the compensation amount to the IT department and proceed with the memorial plans.
Based on the demands of the IT department indicated in the affidavit, Narayan said that the state might be permitted to file a memo to place on record as to who should be prosecuted on behalf of Jayalalithaa's residence.
The HC bench has postponed the matter for further hearing to February 7 for the IT department to give a clear stand over the issue.