SC asks Jaya to appear before trial court

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was today directed by the Supreme Court to appear in a Bangalore trial court tomorrow in a disproportionate assets case against her after Karnataka assured the apex court of her security. Rejecting the AIADMK chief`s plea to defer her hearing on the ground that the Karnataka government had failed to provide sufficient security, a bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Dipak Misra asked Jayalalithaa to appear in the Bangalore court as scheduled.

The apex court`s order came after Karnataka`s chief secretary and its director general of police both filed affidavits assuring the apex court of foolproof security measures in tune with her Z plus status and NSG cover.

The trial of the disproportionate assets case, allegedly involving accumulation of assets worth over Rs 66 crore by her between 1991 and 1996, was shifted earlier to Bangalore by the apex court on her fears that she might be denied a fair trial in Tamil Nadu due to state`s erstwhile DMK government, which she had accused of implicating her in false cases.

When senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi persisted with his apprehensions over her safety, the bench remarked, "You are public figure. How can you remain away from people?" The bench also turned down Jayalalithaa`s plea to at least shift the venue of her trial closer to the airport.

"What more do you want? The helipad has been prepared. Once the hearing is over, fly back home," the bench observed.