ALSO READDuty evasion case: SC grants bail to Sasikala's husband, his Jaya death: AIADMK member moves HC against TN govt's panel of AIADMK leader, who released Jaya video, moves HC for No haste in disqualifying rebel AIADMK MLAs: Speaker tells HC Opp flay AIADMK over 'lies' on Jaya's health; seek CBI probe
A CBI court today granted bail to M Natarajan, the husband of jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, in a 23-year-old duty evasion case connected to the import of a luxury car from the UK, after he appeared before it on the direction of the Supreme Court. Natarajan's nephew V Bhaskaran had secured bail in the case on January 3. The matter relates to the import of a Toyota Lexus car in 1994. Natarajan had declared it as a used vehicle and thereby allegedly evaded tax to the tune of Rs 1.06 crore. The apex court had granted bail to the two in December last and asked them to deposit Rs 25 lakh each in its Registry.
It had also asked them to approach the trial court to decide their bail conditions. A special leave petition was moved before the apex court, challenging a Madras High Court order which upheld a trial court verdict sentencing Natarajan, along with three others-- his nephew Bhaskaran, Yogesh Balakrishnan and Sujaritha Sundararajan, in the duty evasion case. They were convicted for conspiracy, forgery, cheating and tax evasion and sentenced to two years in jail in the case by a CBI court in 2010. Based on the Supreme Court's direction, they deposited the amount and Bhaskaran appeared before the principal special court for CBI cases here and obtained bail. When the matter came up today, Natarajan appeared before special judge A Thiruneelaprasad and submitted documents. Natarajan, who underwent liver and kidney transplantation in October last, came to the the court hall located in the high court premises, with his face partially covered with a white cloth, in the morning. He remained in the court till 1 pm. On perusing documents and sureties submitted by him, Thiruneelaprasad granted him bail. Later, he left the hall along with his supporters and battery of lawyers. The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had registered separate cases against Natarajan and the three others after it was found that the documents presented by them were fabricated. According to the CBI, Natarajan, along with the others, had substituted the original sale invoice with a photocopy of an invoice fabricated by changing the vehicle's manufacturing date to July 1993. The apex court had rejected the appeal of Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case in February last. She is serving a four-year prison term at the Parappana Agrahara jail in Bengaluru.
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