Income Tax officials carried out a search at actor Radikaa Sarathkumar’s production house Radaan Mediaworks in Chennai on Tuesday. This comes four days after the I-T department carried out a raid on her husband, actor-turned-politician Sarathkumar’s residence.
Reports suggest that officials began their search at around 2pm on Tuesday. Radikaa is reportedly not at her office.
The searches at Radaan office also come a day after Sarathkumar was summoned by I-T officials. According to Times of India, the All India Samuthuvu Makkal Katchi leader was quizzed about transactions that allegedly took place during a dinner meeting last Thursday between Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and TTV Dhinakaran, AIADMK (Amma)’s candidate for the now-scrapped RK Nagar bye-elections.
Quoting sources in the I-T department, The Hindu had earlier reported that Sarathkumar had allegedly received Rs 7 crore from Vijayabaskar. However, the official told the newspaper that they did not find the money, but had WhatsApp messages acknowledging the receipt of the money.
The I-T raids that began on Friday morning at properties and offices belonging to state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, Sarathkumar, MGR Medical University VC Dr Geetalakshmi and AIADMK politician Chitlapakkam Rajendran were reportedly in connection with the distribution of cash during campaigning at RK Nagar.
Sarathkumar had publicly announced his support to Dhinakaran on Thursday, a day before the IT raid. Speaking to the media following the search, Sarathkumar then said, “These raids come after I publicly announced support to TTV Dhinakaran. I was supposed to take part in the campaign in RK Nagar today. But I was not allowed to leave by the I-T officials.”
The actor-turned-politician also accused officials of threatening to break down his door if he didn’t cooperate, stating on Friday, “They searched the entire house, checked Radaan accounts and even accompanied my wife to the bank to check our locker. All this is fine if we had some unaccounted money but there was no such thing.”
The actor had then claimed to have given the officials all required documents, signed papers and cooperated at every step. “But this was all unnecessary. On what basis did they raid my house? Was it after a tip-off or merely to stop me from being part of this election campaign?” he asked.
The raids on Friday had allegedly unearthed documents showing that Rs 89 crore was distributed to voters in RK Nagar.
On Sunday night, the Election Commission cancelled the RK Nagar bye-elections following the report of I-T officials that large sums of cash had been distributed to voters.