Tamil Nadu

I only had ₹48.31 lakh in demonetised notes: Sasikala

V.K. Sasikala

V.K. Sasikala  

₹1,911 crore belonged to a third party, she says in a letter to the I-T Department.

Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s close aide V.K. Sasikala has told the Income Tax (I-T) department that she was in possession of only ₹48.31 lakh, and not ₹1,911 crore as claimed by it, when ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes were demonetised on November 8, 2016.

According to documents accessed by The Hindu, she has also told the department that the cash in her possession, at the time of demonetisation of old high denomination (OHD) notes, was deposited in the bank account of her proprietary concern before December 30, 2016.

Also read | How Sasikala bought properties with demonetised currency notes worth over ₹1,600 crore

She further relied strongly upon a letter written by a Joint Director of Income Tax (Investigations) to Deputy Director of Income Tax (Benami Prohibition) on May 14, 2019, wherein it was stated that the reported cash (₹1,911 crore) actually belonged to a “third party.”

In that letter penned for initiation of proceedings under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act of 1988, the Joint Director had listed out materials collected by his team to suspect use of ₹1,674 crore to purchase properties and ₹237 crore to advance loan.

Auditors’ claim

After listing out the details, he went on to state: “In view of the above facts, it is evident that the above cash belongs to some third party and Sasikala had held the same for the immediate or future benefit of the person providing the consideration.” Harping upon this statement, Sasikala’s auditors, in a reply sent on her behalf, to the Deputy Director (BP) on January 3 this year said: “The above extract of the said letter proves that the alleged cash did not belong to the client and belongs to some third party.

‘Beneficial owner’

“The wordings of the letter such as ‘for the immediate or future benefit of the person providing the consideration’ gives a clear indication that the unnamed person in the said letter is the Beneficial Owner (a term used in the 1988 Act) and not the client.”

The reply also stated that Sasikala was engaged in hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa and her treatment from the third week of September till her death on December 5, 2016.

Also read | Sasikala used banned notes to buy malls: Income Tax department

Immediately, thereafter, she was busy meeting national and State political leaders who had come to share her grief.

“Moreover, the situation made her accept the decision of the general council of AIADMK to accept the post of interim general secretary.

Hence, the client was completely engaged during the demonetisation period and there exists no possibility of she having been involved in alleged benami transactions.

Also read | One more alleged benamidar of Sasikala moves HC against Income Tax department action

“The sudden demise of her beloved sister ex-CM of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa and the client becoming interim general secretary of AIADMK has invited undue hardships to the client in the form of political conspiracies plotted against her leading to such proceedings,” it read.

However, the Deputy Commissioner had refused to accept the explanation on the ground that the source of the money was not a matter of concern as long as there was overwhelming evidence to suspect that the alleged benami transactions had taken place only at her behest.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 1:28:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/i-only-had-4831-lakh-in-demonetised-notes-sasikala/article31936180.ece

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