Income Tax authorities on Thursday raided the premises of Jaya TV in Chennai and its associates over alleged tax evasion as part of Operation Clean Money.
The searches at the Tamil television channel, which is perceived to be politically in favour of deposed AIADMK leaders VK Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran, were conducted over alleged tax evasion.
The raids are taking place at 187 locations in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi as part of the “Operation Clean Money” drive against untaxed wealth, a senior Income Tax official was quoted by NDTV.
Also, the allegation covers aspects like shell companies, dubious investments, fund flow and fudging of accounts, income tax sources here told PTI.
The searches at the TV channels accounts branch here is part of Operation Clean Money, sources said.Searches also cover the premises of Midas Distilleries and Jazz Cinemas, they said.
The two entities are perceived to be associated with some of those linked to Jaya TV. Jaya TV also reported the searches by tax sleuths in its premises and at Jazz cinemas. The searches were being conducted by more than 10 groups since this morning, sources added.
The Jaya TV network owns several channels catering to news, general entertainment and movie audiences.
Sasikala , who was jailed for corruption in February, has been making desperate attempts to remain in control of the governing party through her nephew TTV Dhinakaran.
Though started by former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, Jaya TV, has been controlled by Sasikala’s family members, led by her nephew Vivek. The channel has been highly critical of the functioning of the AIADMK government after the unification of the factions led by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and former chief minister O Panneerselvam in August.