Chennai : Madras High Court Wednesday exempted from personal appearance Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala before the trial court for questioning and for framing charges in the Income Tax returns case. On September 18, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate M R Dakshinamurthy had directed them to appear ‘without fail’ on October 1.
Jayalalithaa and Sasikala had sought to quash a portion of a lower court’s order, directing them to appear before it. Justice K B K Vasuki, who disposed of their petitions, today directed the trial court to continue with the proceedings other than that related to the personal appearance and questioning. The court also directed the Central Board of Direct Taxes to dispose of the compounding applications submitted by Jayalalithaa and Sasikala within a period of six weeks.
Defence counsel for Jayalalithaa had earlier submitted before Justice Vasuki that the main object of the amended guidelines of CBDT in allowing the assessees to file compounding application before the department is not to put them in hardship and to avoid treating them as criminal.