The Madras High Court has dismissed a petition filed by Member of Parliament Karti Chidambaram and his wife, Srinidhi Karti Chidambaram, against the Income Tax Department and others related to tax violation cases against them.
Chidambaram's plea challenging the transfer of the cases to a Special Court for trial of criminal cases related to elected MP/MLAs of Tamil Nadu was also dismissed by the Court.
The Income Tax Department has initiated action against the couple in connection with alleged non-disclosure of income from sales of immovable property in Kancheepuram District. The criminal complaints were later transferred from Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Economic Offences-II, Egmore, Chennai, to Special Court for trial of criminal cases related to elected MP/MLAs of Tamil Nadu, presided over by a Judicial Officer in the cadre of District Judge.
According to earlier reports, the tax authorities allege that there has been a non disclosure of over Rs 7 crore. While one criminal complaint was for the assessment year 2014-15, with the relevant accounting year being accounting year endin March 31, 2015 and the second criminal complaint pertains to assessment year 2015-16.
Chidambaram has earlier received an interim stay from the Court against the Special Court proceeding with the matter and allowing the department frame charges against them.
In the order, which was pronounced today through video conferencing, Justice M Sundar observed that as far as petitioners are concerned, there is no difference in standing trial in a Magistrate Court and standing trial in Sessions Court. The argument that only one of the petitioners has become an M.P is of no avail to petitioners, as the Supreme Court has directed transfer of all cases involving sitting or former MPs /MLAs, he added.