DA case: Jayalalithaa appears in Bangalore court

Last Updated: Friday, October 21, 2011 - 00:07

Bangalore: Making her first appearance in the trial of the 15-year-old disproportionate case against her,
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa Thursday deposed before
a special court here in a closed door hearing amid tight
security.

The deposition by Jayalalithaa, who has been accused of
massing assets worth Rs 66 crore disproportionate to her
income, was inconclusive and will resume tomorrow, her counsel
said after about five-hour proceedings.

Her statement was recorded before special court judge B M
Mallikarjunaiah in a make-shift court close to Parappana
Agrahara central jail premises on the city outskirts that was
virtually turned into a fortress.

Jayalalithaa faced 379 questions and she answered them
"precisely and properly," B Kumar, her senior counsel, said.
An equal number of questions will be posed to her tommorow, he
said.

The questions were based on the circumstances mentioned by
the prosecution in evidence statements of witnesses, he told
reporters.

Only 15 people were in the court hall, including the judge
and four accused -- Jayalalithaa, her close confidante
Sasikala Natarajan, Sasikala`s nephew Sudhakaran and her
sister-in-law Ilavarasi, besides their counsel.

Soon after the hearing ended, the 63-year-old AIADMK chief
left for Chennai and will return to the city tomorrow.

She made the appearance after the Supreme Court yesterday
rejected her plea for postponing the hearing by a few days due
to security concerns and asked her to appear before the
special court.

Jayalalithaa arrived here by a special aircraft and flew
in a chopper to a helipad located on the premises of a
software firm, from where she proceeded in her vehicle to the
court.

She was accompanied by a large contingent of her
ministerial colleagues and AIADMK legislators.

With Jayalalithaa enjoying `Z plus` security, hundreds of
policemen were posted along the route.

This is Jayalalithaa`s first appearance before the
Bangalore special court after the case was shifted here in
2003 following a Supreme Court directive on a petition by DMK
which contended that a fair trial was not possible in Chennai
during her tenure as Chief Minister then.

Jayalalithaa was not made to stand in the witness box and
was seated in front of the judge, sources said.

City Police Commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji told
reporters that police were ready to provide security to
Jayalalithaa and the special court till the proceedings
conclude.

Entry into the court was restricted and only the judge,
the accused and the counsel were allowed inside, he said,
adding adequate police personnel have been deployed to keep
public away from court premises.

Meanwhile, some Samatha Sainik Dal activists waved black
flags and shouted slogans against Jayalalithaa, protesting the
recent police firing on Dalits in Paramakudi in Ramanathapuram
District which left seven persons dead. They were taken into
custody.

The AIDMK leader had made a vain bid before the Supreme
Court and Special Court to postpone the hearing by a few days
and also to get the venue of court proceedings shifted closer
to the airport. Regular proceedings in the wealth case are
being held in the city civil court complex.
Jayalalithaa had contended that Karnataka government
had failed to provide sufficient security.

The apex court had directed her to appear after Karnataka
government assured it of providing foolproof security in tune
with her Z plus category status and elite National Security
Guard cover.

The trial of the disproportionate assets case relates to
alleged accumulation of assets worth over Rs 66 crore by
Jayalalithaa when she was Chief Minister between 1991 and
1996.

The AIADMK chief had accused the DMK of foisting false
cases against her.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 08:37

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