CHENNAI: The Income Tax department has seized cash worth about Rs 5.5 crore after it conducted searches on the premises of Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and others even as it is sending a report to the EC in view of the pending bypolls.
Among the other seizures are a volume of "incriminating documents" and a number of voters list, reportedly of the R K Nagar Assembly constituency, kept at certain locations that were covered as part of the tax raids.
The department also expanded its searches and has covered over 50 premises by late evening in and around the state capital here, from the 33 locations that it began raiding early morning. Officials said while Rs 5.5 crore in cash was seized from the "associates" of Vijayabaskar, a cash of about Rs 26 lakh neatly kept in envelopes was seized from the premises of a close family associate of the minister.
The department, officials said, will also send a comprehensive report on its probe in the role of illicit funds being allegedly moved in the wake of the R K Nagar bypolls here on April 12. The operations are still on at about nine locations and are expected to end late night, they said.
Over 100 I-T sleuths along with central security personnel are part of the operation even as premises related to officials of a medical university in the state are also being searched. There were also several complaints of alleged money distribution by AIADMK's Amma faction.
The seat fell vacant after the death of the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa and it is being viewed as a battle of prestige between the two factions of the AIADMK. Vijayabaskar is a prominent loyalist of AIADMK (Amma) faction's candidate T T V Dinakaran.
Vijayabaskar, who is the first state minister to come under the lens of taxmen, is among the key campaigners in the bypolls. Officials said certain leads in the Sekhar Reddy case, the mining baron arrested for alleged financial irregularities post-demonetisation, have also prompted the latest action.