Big surge in wealth nailed Jaya

From Rs 8.5 lakh in 1987 to Rs 113 crore in 2016

Big surge in wealth nailed Jaya
The late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa possessed assets worth Rs 8.5 lakh in 1987, but in the next nine years it rose to Rs 63.51 crore, while she could have legitimately earned only Rs 9.91 crore.

This surge in wealth between 1991 and 1996, which is proved as disproportionate to the known sources of income, prompted the case against her and her close aide Sasikala.

Jayalalithaa’s assets swelled to Rs 113.73 crore in April 2016, according to an affidavit she filed while filing nominations for the Assembly elections.

She became the owner of four plots and a building, including the Poes Garden residence in Chennai, through the execution of the will of her mother N R Sandhya, an actor who died in 1971. She was also in possession of three cars, company shares and a property.

In 1987, Jayalalithaa had assets worth only Rs 7.5 lakh, besides a bank balance of Rs 1 lakh and certain jewellery items.

When she assumed office of the chief minister in 1991, Jayalalithaa and Sasikala had assets worth Rs 2.01 crore.

The assets in 1991 included properties acquired in the name of Jaya Publications, Sasi Enterprises and Namadhu MGR, which was floated by the duo as partners, according to the Supreme Court judgement.

But since July 1, 1991, when Jayalalithaa assumed power, the court noted that there was a “sudden spurt” in the acquisition of assets. During this period, she and her aide floated several firms in the names of Sasikala and her relatives V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi.

Thirty-two such firms were cited in the order, but between July 1, 1991 and April 4, 1994, there were no business activities at all in many of these companies.

Land, machinery

Activities were more in the nature of acquiring assets like land, machinery and building, which were not production oriented. Jayalalithaa amassed
Rs 66.65 crore during this period, even as the trial court later said prosecution could only prove assets worth Rs 63.51 crore.

Of this, the value of disproportionate assets was that of Rs 53.60 crore as her income from known sources like rental income, interest derived from deposits, agricultural income, loans and salary she received as chief minister worked out to be Rs 9.91 crore in 1996.

Interestingly, the court had then said the assets belonged to Jayalalithaa as the other accused had no sufficient means to acquire such assets in their names and it established that the assets were actually acquired by the former.
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