The Madras High Court on Monday asked the Income Tax department, if late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had any legal heir or if she had left behind any will as it adjourned an appeal over a 20-year-old wealth tax case related to her.
A bench comprising Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice K Kalyanasundaram asked the counsel for the Income Tax (I-T) department to get instructions and posted the matter for September 26.
Since it was a settled law that court cannot proceed against a deceased, the bench asked I-T counsel Senthil Kumar to bring on record legal heir, if any, of Jayalalithaa.
The I-T department has filed the appeal challenging a September 30, 2016 order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) setting aside a revised wealth tax assessment order of Commissioner of Wealth Tax against Jayalalithaa.
The matter relates to the wealth tax assessment of Jayalalithaa for 1997-98. The I-T department first made an order of determining the net wealth at Rs 4.67 crore on March 27, 2000.
But later, based on the probe by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption investigation, which prosecuted Jayalalithaa for disproportionate assets, it revised the assessment on ground that she had made erroneous declarations.
Challenging the revised assessment, Jayalalithaa had moved the ITAT after a delay of over six years.
The ITAT on September 30, 2016 had allowed her appeal and condoned the delay of 2,255 days against which the I-T department moved the high court earlier this year.
It contended that the tribunal had erred in quashing the revised assessment order. Also, the condoning of the inordinate delay of 2,255 days was against a judgement of the Supreme Court, the I-T appeal said.
Incidentally, the top court had abated the charges against Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate wealth case while sentencing her close aide VK Sasikala and two others to imprisonment.
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