The Income Tax department’s Benami Prohibition Unit in Chennai on Wednesday provisionally attached nine grounds (24,000 sq ft plot) of VK Sasikala, a close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late J Jayalalithaa, Times Now reported. A mansion is being built on the land for Sasikala, which is opposite to Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence.

An order was issued under the provisions of the Benami Prohibition Transaction Act, 1988. “Considering the facts and circumstances of the cases, since the benamidar/beneficial owner would be aware of the consequences of the proceedings, the undersigned is of the opinion that the property as mentioned above may be alienated during the period specified in the notice issued to the benamidar,” it said. “It is ordered that you are hereby prohibited and restrained until further order or till 90 days from the end of month from the date of notice u/s 24(1), whichever is earlier, from transferring or charging the properties described...”

Sasikala has been in jail since 2017 after being convicted in a disproportionate assets case. A copy of the provisional order has also been served to her at the Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara Central Prison.

Income Tax officials also said at least 65 properties, located in and around Chennai, worth around Rs 300 crore, were bought through shell companies between 2003 and 2005. Many of them were purchased through a company called Sri Hari Chandana Estates Private Limited, owned by asikala’s relatives.