CHENNAI: AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her friend Sasikala have moved the Madras High Court challenging an order of an Economic Offences Court in Egmore, directing them to appear before it on October 1.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing on Tuesday. The issue relates to tax returns for 1992-93 and 1993-94.
When the matter came up on September 18, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dakshinamoorthy adjourned it till October 1 and directed Jayalalithaa and Sasikala to appear on that day for answering questions under Section 313 of CrPC and for framing of charges.
Challenging this order, the duo filed the present petition. They contended that the order of the trial court was against law, as it failed to consider that 279(2) of the IT Act permitted her to compound the offence at any stage, either before or after institution of the proceedings. As per income tax guidelines, 180 days have been fixed as outer time limit for deciding compounding applications, she said.
As for the earlier Supreme Court order, she said the Supreme Court had fixed the outer time limit for completion of trial alone, whereas she was now willing to settle the dispute amicably by invoking the benevolent provisions of the IT Act by filing compounding the offence. Hence the outer time limit fixed by the apex court has no significance because of change of circumstances, she argued.