The Madras High Court on Monday permitted the clubbing of two cases pertaining to Income Tax filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
The permission was granted by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice AP Shah and Justice D Murugesan on a request petition filed by Jayalalithaa's counsel N Jothi.
The cases pertain to a writ petition challenging the vires of section 278E of the I-T Act and revision petitions against a June 14 order of a Metropolitan Magistrate dismissing petitions filed by Jayalalithaa seeking to discharge her from the I-T Cases.
In the request petition, Jothi submitted that the facts and issues in all the petitions were substantially the same and inter-related and the interim relief sought for in the petitions were also the same.
It would therefore be expedient in the interest of justice and to avoid conflicting orders and decision to club all the petitions together and list them before the same judge, he contended and added that the request was being made in view of the fact that different portfolios were allocated to different judges as a result of which the revision petition and writ petition would be posted before different benches.
The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Economic Offences) on June 14 had dismissed the discharge pleas in four cases, relating to non-filing of I-T returns for the assessment year 1993-94 by Jayalalitha and her close friend Sasikala.
In the other case they had failed to file returns as partners of the firm M/S Sasi Enterprises for the assessment years 1991-92 and 1992-93.