Jaya completes deposition in assets case
Appearing for the fourth time since last month before special judge B M Mallikarjunaiah in the 15-year-old case, she completed answering 1,339 questions framed by the judge, who recorded her statement in the closed door hearing held at the high-security makeshift court hall at Parapana Agrahara on the city outskirts.
Jayalalithaa, who had replied to 580 questions yesterday, fielded the remaining 192 today, special public prosecutor B V Acharya told reporters after the more than three-hour-long proceedings. "With today`s deposition she has answered all the 1,339 questions which were framed by the court under section 313 of CrPC (relating to recording of statement)," he said.
The AIADMK supremo had appeared before the court on October 20 and 21 when she replied to about 571 questions. She deposed in the court yesterday for the third time after Supreme Court rejected her plea for exemption from personal appearance and seeking permission to submit written answers.
Apparently relieved at the completion of the deposition, Jayalalithaa who emerged out of the court greeted the onlookers with folded hands and sporting a smile as she drove to the airport en route to Chennai.
During today`s proceedings, Jayalalithaa also filed "a very detailed" statement along with several documents in addition to her deposition, he said adding in her statement she had asserted the case was fabricated at the instance of DMK which was in power in 1997. "Therefore it is a politically motivated case." Acharya said the court adjourned the next hearing in the case to November 29 when it will record the statements of the other three accused including Jayalalithaa`s close aide Sasikala, at the regular special court in the city.
In her statement, Jayalalithaa also said the case was taken up and an inquiry ordered under the CrPC on the basis of a `false` complaint by Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy. She also stated that the search warrant was only taken in respect of her 31/3 Poes Garden residence and not the adjacent house. Therefore, the search (in the other house) was illegal.
On seizure of costly sarees and matching accessories like footwear and watches during the raids, she said as a famous actress she had acted in about 120 films in various languages, where she was required to wear them with matching accessories. "Because a saree once used in a film will not be used again, she had kept all these as a momento and police is wrong in valuing all these sarees and footwear," Acharya quoted Jayalalithaa as telling the court in the written statement.
She termed the investigations by police officials as `illegal` and said permission was granted only to probe the complaint filed by Swamy. She said searches of all her properties in Hyderabad was illegal as the court has no right to issue a search warrant for properties outside Chennai. Jayalalithaa alleged that the case has been instituted by her political opponents to defame her and tarnish her image in the eyes of the public.
She, however, admitted that music director A R Rahman attended the marriage of her estranged foster son Sudhakaran in 1996 and also performed at the instance of the bride`s family. "We have not received any payment for it." She said Rehman produced some silver articles given to him by the bride`s family while inviting him for the marriage.
Jayalalithaa denied the statement by an IAS officer that she had used government officials for her private purpose. She also stated that during the check period, she had no other property except the Poes Garden property. She said that during investigation, the then law minister Madhavan and DMK leader Arcot Veerasamy interfered in the process, which she termed illegal.
Jayalalithaa`s senior counsel B Kumar, said she answered all the remaining questions "correctly and to the point." He said she has also filed a written statement detailing her grievances and that her examination under Sec 313 CrPC has been completed. Kumar said the questions pertained to investigation by police and documents acquired by them during the raids. Kumar said the "whole case is false and engineered by her opponents and is totally mala fide."