DA case: Jayalalithaa appears in Bangalore court
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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.


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

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