Income Tax sleuths grill Vivek Jayaraman , Jayalalithaa’s PA

Income Tax sleuths grill Vivek Jayaraman

Poongundran, who appeared before the investigators on Monday morning, was with the sleuths for more than 10 hours. “He is still inside,” sources said late on Monday. Poongundran was one of Jayalalithaa’s trusted aides, who had free access to the Poes Garden residence, while Dr Sivakumar is the sonin-law of Sasikala’s brother Sundaravadanam. 

On Monday after winding up the search operations at the house of Vivek, the I-T sleuths took him to the department office in the evening for further enquiry. AIADMK Amma faction Karnataka unit secretary Pugalendhi had also appeared before the I-T investigators on Monday. 

Talking to reporters after appearing before the officials, Pugalendhi said that he was summoned again on Wednesday. 

“They had not seized anything from my house,” he said. Dr Shivakumar was allowed to leave the Income Tax office by noon. I-T department sources said that it had also issued a summons to Sasikala’s brother V Divakaran.

Longest-ever raid ends after 5 days 
The Income Tax raids under ‘Operation Clean Money,’ which started on Thursday across Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and New Delhi by over 1,800 officials at 187 premises targeting shell firms belonging to 10 groups including those run by members of Sasikala’s clan and their associates, turned out to be one of the longest and largest search operations that came to an end on Monday evening. 

Though it started at 187 premises on Thursday, the number of premises went up to 193 during the course of the day, an I-T official said. On the second day, the searches continued at over 150 places. On day three it came down to 40, while on Sunday the sleuths covered 14 places. On Monday, the last day of searches, the investigators were present at least in six premises, including Jaya TV office, residences of Vivek, his sister Krishnapriya, Midas Distilleries and Kodanad Estate. 

A senior Income Tax official said that a lot of shell companies and properties were detected during the raids. The total value of the seizures and tax evasion will be known only after the compilation of all the data, the official added.