The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to discharge Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa from cases against her for not filing income tax returns from 1991-94 in her capacity as a partner of Sashi Enterprises which she jointly owned with her close aide N Sasikala.
The apex court bench headed by justice KS Radhakrishnan and justice Vikramjit Sen directed the trial court in Chennai to complete the trial within a period of four months.
Jayalalithaa along with Sasikala had set up Sashi Enterprises wherein neither the enterprise nor its partners filed their income tax return for year 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94.
The AIADMK chief had contended that since there was no income from the enterprise, therefore there was no tax evasion and not filing the income tax return was not an offence.
However, economic offences court in Chennai rejected their contention, holding that non-filing of ITR was an offence and said they should face trial.
The trial court dismissed the discharge applications filed by Jayalalithaa and Sasikala and on appeal Madras high court also dismissed their appeals against the lower court order.
They had appealed against the high court judgment rejecting their plea for discharge from three cases.
The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to interfere with the high court order.
(With IANS inputs)