Chennai (PTI): AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa has moved the Madras High Court seeking to set aside a lower court order refusing to discharge her from a case under the wealth tax act for the assessment year 1993-94.
She also sought a stay of all further proceedings in the case pending before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, who on February 28 last, rejected her discharge petition.
Jayalalithaa contended that the rejection was erroneous and should be set aside.
The former chief minister, in her petition, said the trial court had not taken note of the fact that that mere non-filing of returns as claimed by the Income Tax department alone could not entail any prosecution.
It was necessary that criminal intent be established on the part of petitioner by the department, which it failed to do.
The trial court had erred in not taking note of specific submission that even in respect of various prosecutions launched against her by the Income Tax department, the Supreme Court had stayed further proceedings for fixing the quantum of income tax liability not having become final.
The trial court had also not properly applied the judgements, Jayalalithaa alleged.
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“Income tax, wealth tax liabilities interrelated”
Discharge plea meant to protract proceedings
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court will pronounce orders on May 27 on All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa’s plea seeking to stay all further proceedings against her in a case under the Wealth Tax Act for the assessment year 1993–94.
Justice M. Venugopal, before whom the case came up on Wednesday, also reserved orders for that day on the admissibility of a criminal revision petition filed by her seeking to set aside an order of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Economic Offence – I) dated February 25, 2008, dismissing her petition to discharge her from the case.
Appearing on behalf of Ms. Jayalalithaa, advocate Guru Krishnakumar said on the date of filing the complaint she had deficit wealth and since liability exceeded total assets there was no need or necessity for her to file returns under the Wealth Tax Act. The counsel said under the Income Tax Act, there was a set of persons who have to file returns whether or not they had income but that was not the case under the Wealth Tax Act. Only if a person had assessable wealth did they have to file returns.
He said income tax and wealth tax liabilities were interrelated and since the income tax liabilities had not yet been finalised (appeals relating to income tax payable for the year 1993-94 were pending in court) there was no question of filing wealth tax returns.
The Supreme Court has also stayed further proceedings in a case relating to a complaint against Ms. Jayalalithaa alleging non-filing of returns under the IT Act.
Advocate K. Ramasamy, who appeared on behalf of the prosecution, said the discharge petition was intended to protract proceedings and that the defence had no intention to conduct the case.
When Ms. Jayalalithaa had filed wealth tax returns for 1992-93, why had she not voluntarily filed returns for the assessment year 1993-94, he asked.
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