Item-by-item arguments helped nail Jayalalitha

Item-by-item arguments helped nail Jayalalitha

The 36th additional city civil and sessions court that went into the disproportionate assets case against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha and three others took item-by-item arguments on the assets and pecuniary resources in their possession.

These include immovable properties - gold and diamond jewellery, silverware, vehicles, footwear, sarees, among others - valued around Rs 53.6 crore.

The 1,136-page verdict by judge Michael D’ Cunha on September 27 gives a detailed break-up of the assets found in possession of the accused during the check period (July 1991 to April 1996) and also arguments by the prosecution and counter arguments by the defence over the items.

The court categorised the assets under 12 categories (see chart). The court, for instance, took case-by-case arguments with regard to 150 properties owned by Jayalalitha, her friend Sasikala Natarajan, Sasikala’s nephew Sudhakaran and sister-in-law Ilavarasi.

Item-by-item arguments were taken up regarding 481 items of gold and diamond jewellery in the possession of the accused. At least 15 vehicles were purchased in the check period, including Tata Siera, Tata Sumo, Maruti Esteem, Tempo Trax, Swaraj Mazda, among others. Other items include 389 pairs of footwear, 914 silk sarees and 6,195 other sarees.

In all, the prosecution examined 259 witnesses, while the defence examined 98. The prosecution produced 2,341 documents as evidence, while the defence produced 384.

Judge D’Cunha, in his order, held that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that as against the income of Rs 9.91 crore and expenditure of Rs 8.49 crore during the check period, Jayalalitha acquired in her name and in the names of Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi and in the names of business enterprises in their names, immovable properties and pecuniary resources worth Rs 53.6 crore, which could not be satisfactorily account for.

The judge said that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi abetted the offence by intentionally aiding Jayalalitha in the acquisition and possession of pecuniary resources and properties disproportionate to her known sources of income. 

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