The Income Tax Department’s teams have carried out extensive searches at various locations, including a hotel in T Nagar, Velachery, residences of Jagathrakshakan’s relatives in Pallavaram and Chromepet, and his own residence in Adyar. Furthermore, the raids have extended to his offices, educational institutions, and even a brewery.
On Friday, a fresh team of senior officials joined the ongoing raids at Jagathrakshakan’s residence in Adyar. The Income Tax officials arrived in more than 50 vehicles, and to ensure security, over 150 armed reserve personnel were deployed across the search locations.
During these extensive raids, a significant number of documents have been seized. These documents will be scrutinised to determine if there has been any tax evasion. Jagathrakshakan’s diverse business interests in sectors such as Hospitality, Pharmaceuticals, Liquor Manufacturing, and Education have come under scrutiny.
Previous Controversies and Political Implications
Jagathrakshakan has faced previous controversies, including his involvement in a Singapore-based company linked to a record foreign direct investment of $3.85 billion in an oil refinery in Sri Lanka. In 2020, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized Rs 89 crore for FEMA rule violations, involving shares subscribed by Jagathrakshakan and his son Sundeep Aanand in Silver Park International Pte Ltd, Singapore, without the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
These raids on Jagathrakshakan are part of a larger trend where central agencies have targeted members of the DMK, including sitting ministers V Senthil Balaji and K Ponmudy. Jagathrakshakan, who was previously with AIADMK before switching to DMK, has a long history in Tamil Nadu politics.
Jagathrakshakan’s involvement in alleged irregularities is not new. In 2007, when he was a minister of state for commerce and industry, he faced accusations of using his influence to allocate coal to one of his companies in the infamous Coalgate scam. In 2016, during a previous Income Tax raid, Rs 20 crore in cash and several kilograms of gold were seized from him.
Reaction to the Raids
Chief Minister and DMK president M K Stalin has reacted strongly to the raids. He expressed concern over the use of independent investigating agencies for political purposes and called it an assault on democracy. He also pointed out the recent warning by the Supreme Court to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to maintain transparency and fairness.
The Income Tax raids on properties associated with DMK MP S Jagathrakshakan continue to draw attention due to their scale and the high-profile nature of the individual involved. As the scrutiny of documents seized during these raids unfolds, the political and legal ramifications are expected to become clearer in the coming days.