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Madras HC upholds conviction against Natarajan in Lexus car import

Natarajan, husband of AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, is undergoing treatment for chronic ailments at present

BS Reporter  |  Chennai 

Madras High Court
Madras High Court. Photo:

The has upheld the conviction of — husband of — and others in an appeal filed by them against a lower court's order on alleged manipulations related import of a almost 23 years back.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, Chennai had filed a charge sheet in 1998 before the Principal Special Judge for Cases against Natarajan, director of (P) Ltd, V Bhaskaran, an authorised agent of Natarajan, S Balakrishnan, Yogesh Balakrishnan son of S Balakrishnan, both residents of London and Sujaritha Sundararajan, Branch Manager, Indian Bank in Chennai.

The alleged that Natarajan and V Bhaskaran fraudulently fabricated documents such as sales invoices, First Registration Certificate — purportedly issued by London Central Vehicle registration officer — among others, for clearing a imported by Balakrishnan and Yogesh Balakrishnan. It was done to take advantage of Transfer of Residence Provision by Balakrishnan and pay less custom duty. It added that while they were aware that the car was manufactured in the year 1994, it was misdeclared to be manufactured in 1993.

Sundararajan allegedly misused her official position to issue Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate to facilitate the release of the car by the Customs. This she apparently did despite knowing that the current account of Tamilarasi Publications did not receive any foreign remittance earlier. It is one of the pre-conditions for paying customs duty under the Transfer of Residence provision. This is said to have caused a wrongful loss of Rs 1.06 crore, through short levy, escaped penalty and redmption fine, to the exchequer.

The trial court sentenced Natarajan, Bhaskaran, Yogesh Balakrishnan and Sujaritha Sundararajan to a rigorous imprisonment for two years, besides imposing a fine on them. Natarajan and three others challenged this in the Madras High Court, which upheld the conviction of the appellants, said in a release on Friday. Natarjan, meanwhile, has been hospitalised for chronic ailment and he recently underwent organ transplants.

First Published: Fri, November 17 2017. 19:21 IST