The Income Tax Department’s Benami Prohibition wing has attached several properties including an under-construction bungalow in Chennai in which VK Sasikala, the jailed aide of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, reportedly has planned to move in upon her release from the Bengaluru prison next year.
The property, registered in the name of M/s Sri Hari Chandana Estate Private Limited, suspected to be her benami firm, is located in Poes Garden, a few metres away from the imposing Veda Nilayam bungalow in which Jayalalithaa and Sasikala lived for about 3 decades. With the state government deciding to acquire the Veda Nilayam to convert it into a memorial, Sasikala, sources said, had planned to move into the new bungalow upon her release, due next February.
However, the I-T men, have attached the property along with 64 other properties, all of which it suspects were acquired by Sasikala through the benami transactions.
Invoking the provisions of Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act, 1988, the department said the properties were worth Rs300 crore at the time of acquisition between 2003 and 2005. All the properties are located in and around Chennai.
The notice pasted on the property stated, the I-T Dy Commissioner (Benami Prohibition) felt the property may be alienated and hence it considered expedient and necessary to provisionally attach the property. A copy of the attachment order was marked to Sasikala. The Poes Garden property measures 22,460 sqft.