NEW DELHI (TIP): In a major setback to Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court rejected her appeal against prosecution by the Income Tax department for not having filed tax returns between 1991 and 1994.

The apex court verdict now paves the way for prosecution against Jayalalithaa who will now stand trial in Tamil Nadu. The court has also ordered the trial be completed within 4 months.

In 1996-1997, Income Tax authorities had field criminal cases against Jayalalithaa and her associate N Sasikala for not having filed tax returns for the assessment year 1993-94. Jaya’s contention that she had not filed returns as she did not have any taxable income during that year and that there was no tax evasion was rejected by the Income Tax department, which argued that filing of tax returns was mandatory.

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