In a relief to Rajinikanth, last week, the Income Tax Department withdrew an appeal against the actor from the Madras High Court, based on a decision taken by Central Board of Director Taxes (CBDT). A penalty of Rs 66 lakh was imposed on the actor in 2005 for concealing full particulars of income and for providing inaccurate information.
CBDT had made an announcement via a circular dated September 8, 2019, allowing withdrawal of legal proceedings for claims in which recoverable amount is less than Rs 1 crore.
Expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala had made a similar plea in the High Court, asking that the same rule be applied to her as well. However, the Income Tax Department told the High Court that this exemption cannot be made.
The I-T Department on Wednesday told Madras HC that CBDTâ€™s decision will not be applicable to VK Sasikala even though the value of the recoverable amount was below Rs 1 crore. The case reportedly pertains to the returns filed by Sasikala in the assessment year 1994-1995. The I-T Department, based on a raid conducted by Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) in which Sasikala was found to have also concealed the purchase of 80 acres of land, had demanded tax worth Rs 48 lakh.
I-T Department counsel TR Senthil Kumar told the court that the relief cannot be made applicable to Sasikala since the prosecution had already been initiated in her case and that connected criminal proceedings were pending before an economic offences court.
A division bench of Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R Suresh Kumar, which was hearing the case pending since 2008, recorded I-T counselâ€™s submission and directed the department to file a report on the status of the prosecution in two weeks and adjourned the matter for further hearing.
Sasikala then challenged the order before Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) which later quashed it. The I-T Department moved its present appeal before the High Court challenging Tribunalâ€™s order and when it came up for hearing recently, Sasikalaâ€™s counsel contented for relief based on the CBDT circular.