Two weeks ago, Additional CMM R. Dakshinamurthy had directed them to be present in the court on April 28 for framing of charges and answering questions.

Once again, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her close aide Sasikala failed to appear before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Economic Offences-I) on Monday in connection with income tax cases filed against them.

Following petitions from them, the court adjourned the matter to May 19 for fixing a fresh date for their appearance.

Only two weeks ago, Additional CMM R. Dakshinamurthy had directed them to be present in the court on April 28 for the purpose of framing of charges and answering questions.

They are facing four criminal cases for non-filing of income tax returns in individual capacities as well as being partners of Sasi Enterprises for the assessment years for early 1990s. The criminal proceedings were initiated only in 1996 and 1997. Since then the criminal cases have been pending before the court.

On January 30 last, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeals seeking to discharge them from the case and directed the trial court to dispose of the cases within four months.

Following the apex court’s order, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court directed Ms. Jayalalithaa and Ms. Sasikala to appear on April 3 for framing charges. On two occasions, they failed to appear before the court citing different reasons.

When the cases were taken up by the ACMM Mr. Dakshinamurthy on Monday, S. Senthil, counsel for Ms. Jayalalithaa and Ms. Sasikala filed petitions seeking to postpone the hearing of the case and fix a date for their appearance after June 6.

In her petition, Ms. Jayalalithaa said on a clarification petition, the Supreme Court on April 25 granted further time for three months from June 6 to complete the trial.

Her counsel also said the apex court ordered them to appear after elections. The elections would be completed only after declaration of all the results -- May 16. K. Ramasamy, Senior Special Public Prosecutor for income tax cases opposed the plea.

After hearing both sides, the ACMM Mr. Dakshinamurthy said, “The court is inclined to allow the petitions and the case is adjourned to May 19 for fixing a date for appearance of the accused for questioning and answering the charges under section 313 (1) (a) of Criminal Procedure Code and for production of clarification order passed by Supreme court of April 25.”

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