The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed sanction orders issued by the Income Tax Department to prosecute former Union minister P Chidambaram’s wife, son and daughter-in-law under the Black Money Act in May, reported The Times of India.
A bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad passed the order on a petition moved by Chidambaram’s wife Nalini Chidambaram, son Karti Chidambaram and daughter-in-law Srinidhi Chidambaram challenging the department’s prosecution. Quashing the criminal prosecution, it said that no case was made out against the accused.
The court had reserved its order after having concluded its final hearing on September 3.
The department in May had filed chargesheets against the four family members under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, for allegedly not disclosing their foreign assets.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy had alleged last year that Nalini Chidambaram, Karti Chidambaram and Srinidhi Chidambaram had purchased immovable property in Cambridge city in the United Kingdom worth crores of rupees, but failed to disclose it in their income tax returns.
The chargesheets claimed that the family “did not disclose” these investments as well as those of a firm co-owned by Karti Chidambaram – Chess Golbal Advisory – to the tax authority, violating the Black Money Act.
The three accused had moved an appeal in the High Court after a single-judge bench refused them relief, PTI reported. On June 27, the first bench headed by then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee reserved its order on the appeal. The court verdict was delayed as Justice Banerjee was elevated to the Supreme Court.
The appeal was then referred to a bench headed by Justice Manikumar for fresh hearing.