'Jayalalitha claim was not accepted'

CHENNAI, JULY 12. The former Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalitha, had to pay about Rs. 86.34 lakhs as balance of tax for the assessment year 1991-92. This had been communicated to her, a Deputy Commissioner of Income-Tax told a Special Court on Wednesday.

Deposing as a witness before the Special Judge-I, Mr. A.C. Arumugaperumal Adityan, in the disproportionate wealth case against Ms. Jayalalitha, the official, Mr. V. Srinivasan said he was Assistant Commissioner of I.T., Film Circle, between June 1993 and May 1995. Ms. Jayalalitha filed the tax returns for the assessment year 1991-92 on November 20, 1992 though the last date for filing was August 31, 1991.

He passed the assessment order on March 30, 1994.

The witness said as per the returns, she had declared as total income Rs. 4,48,660 - income from house property Rs. 71,304 and from other sources Rs. 4,03,668. She had declared that she suffered a loss of Rs. 26,316 in business, and this was disallowed by the department.

The official said he assessed the total income as Rs. 80,65,250 - income from house property Rs. 76,304, from other sources Rs. 29 lakhs in cash, investment in silver articles Rs. 46,52,200 and dividend and interest Rs. 4,36,746. Along with the returns, Ms. Jayalalitha had filed as annexure the balance sheet of Natyakala Niketan as on March 31, 1991 and in her capital account there was a credit of Rs. 29 lakhs.

Mr. Srinivasan said in the wealth tax returns for assessment year 1990-91, she had declared the value of silver articles as Rs. 30,21,450 whereas for the next assessment year the value was given as Rs. 70,61,400. When the department sought an explanation regarding Rs. 29 lakhs in cash and the silver articles, initially she replied she received them as cash and gift articles from various individuals and she would not be able to identify them. Later 29 affidavits were filed and out of this 10 persons had stated to have given gifts to her.

When these persons were questioned, they said they collected the gifts from various individuals and gave them to her. As the assessee was not able to identify the donors, her explanation was not accepted.

The official said he had brought out the facts and details in his assessment order. As per the returns, the former Chief Minister had paid a total tax of Rs. 3,78,065 and enclosed the challan for the payment with the returns.

As per the assessment order, Ms. Jayalalitha had to pay Rs. 86,34,866 as balance of tax, the witness said.