I-T freezes Jaya’s Poes Garden house

Chennai: The Income Tax Department today informed the Madras High Court that the due to prevailing tax dues amounting to Rs 16.75 crore, it has freezed the Poes Garden residence of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

The I-T department also stated that if the dues are cleared, there will be no objection from its side to convert the house as a memorial of the former Chief Minister. Jayalalithaa had passed away on 5 December, 2016, and the State government had formed a Commission to probe the circumstances that led to her death.

The department also said that due to tax dues of Rs 16.75 crore, the Poes Garden residence and assets inside it have been freezed for more than a decade, i.e., from 2007.

Earlier this month, the High Court asked the I-T department to share data of Jayalalithaa’s assets as a petition claimed that there was a discrepancy between the deceased’s actual and declared assets.

The High Court had directed the Income Tax Department to submit details about Jayalalithaa’s assets and liabilities. The petition was filed by K Pugazhenthi and P Janakiraman, who claimed to be members of ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

The plea claimed that the former Chief Minister had assets across the country. The petitioners said there was a discrepancy in the assets recorded in a judgement given by a criminal court in Bengaluru and the list of assets submitted by Jayalalithaa to the Election Commission.

Justices N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose directed the department to submit the information after the petitions requested the court to step in as executioner of her property as she had purportedly not identified a legal heir in her will.

Earlier, by 7 January, the court also asked the Enforcement Directorate and the Tamil Development Department to join the case as respondents. On 18 December, the court had asked Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa and nephew Deepak to ascertain the details about her assets and liabilities.

NT Bureau