Income Tax department raided the office of Jaya TV and 11 other places in Chennai early on Thursday morning over allegations of tax evasion. Jaya TV is controlled by jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala’s family. “It’s not about TV alone, but shell companies,” an I-T official said. The raid began at 6.30 am and is ongoing.
Apart from Jaya TV, the residence and office of Sasikala’s nephew Vivek Jayaraman, his sister’s house in Thyagaraya Nagar and another house in Bengaluru are among the 11 other places being raided by I-T. The I-T department is conducting the raid for alleged money laundering through newly floated shell companies.
Around a dozen officials entered the office of the Tamil channel around 6 am. News agency PTI reports that the searches follow allegations of shell companies, dubious investments, fund flow and fudging of accounts by Jaya TV, started by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and currently controlled by the family of Sasikala, who was her closest aide.
The residence of sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran at Mannai Nagar in Mannargudi, Sasikala’s brother Dhivakaran’s house at Sundara Kottai and the premises of their supporters were also being searched. A total of 80 places were being searched, I-T officials said.