The Supreme Court today extended by 3 months the four-month deadline for wrapping up the trial in the alleged tax evasion case involving Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in view of ongoing general elections.
However, the apex court said the trial court in Chennai will take appropriate steps for ensuring the personal appearance of Jayalalithaa and other accused after it was alleged that they were adopting dilatory tactics.
A bench, comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Vikramajit Sen, said the trial court will commence the proceedings after the completion of the election.
Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the income tax department, submitted there was no objection to extending the deadline for completing the trial but it should be made clear that the accused should not be exempted from personal appearance before the trial court.
The apex court had on January 30 cleared the decks for Jayalalithaa's prosecution for not filing income tax returns in 1993-94 and asked a lower court to wrap up the trial in four months from the date of receipt of the order.