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SC directs Jayalalithaa to face trial in income tax case

In a major disappointment for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court today ruled that Jayalalitha must face trial for failing to file her income tax return for three years in her capacity as a partner of Shashi Enterprises which was jointly owned by the Tamil Nadu CM and her former close aide Sasikala.

A bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan ordered the trial court to complete the trial within a period of four months.

Sashi Enterprises was set up by Jayalalithaa along with Sasikala and neither the enterprise nor its both partners filed their income tax return for year 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94.

Jayalalithaa tried to defend herself saying that since the enterprise did not earn any income, therefore not filing the income tax return was not an offence and she did not commit any tax evasion.

Jayalalithaa's arguments were however rejected by the economic offences court in Chennai, holding that t non-filing of ITR was an offence and the duo must face trial for committing this crime.

The high court also accepted the findings of the economic offences court on appeal and ordered both Jayalalithaa and Sasikala to face trial.

The apex court today also upheld the order paving way for a criminal trial in this matter.