Chennai: The Income Tax department has told the Madras High Court that its confidential letter seeking action against those involved in the gutkha scam in Tamil Nadu was seized from a room occupied by expelled AIADMK leader Sasikala in the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa.
This information was disclosed in an affidavit submitted today by Principal Director of Income Tax, Chennai, Susie Babu Varghese on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by DMK MLA J Anbazhagan for a CBI probe into the alleged scam.
Alleging that a state minister and high-level state and central government officers, including police officials, were involved in the scam to “facilitate” sale of banned ‘gutkha’ (tobacco product), the PIL contended that the CBI alone can conduct a thorough and impartial probe in the matter.
According to the affidavit, the then principal director of the I-T department had on August 11, 2016 written a letter to the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police in connection with the scam.
The letter was addressed to both of them, with copies of the relevant accounts from the seized materials, it said.
Copies of extracts of sworn statements recorded from Madhava Rao, a partner in the gutka company allegedly involved in the scam, evidencing payment to various parties connected with the state government, were also enclosed with the letter.
I-T sleuths had conducted searches in the office block and a room occupied by Sasikala, currently serving a prison term in a corruption case, at the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa ‘Veda Nilayam’ following inputs.
Jayalalithaa was admitted to a hospital here with complaints of fever and dehydration on September 22, 2016 and died on December 5 that year.