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|March 9, 1999||
Judge Sambandam refuses to stay Jaya's trial
Special Judge-1 S Sambandam, trying cases of corruption during the rule of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, today asserted that he would not succumb to inducements of authority or power.
The judge made the assertion while declining to stop the trial against former chief minister J Jayalalitha and three others in a case of acquiring assets disproportionate to her known sources of income.
Dismissing a petition filed by J Elavarasi, a co-accused, seeking a stay on the trial proceedings since Jayalalitha has moved the Madras high court for transfer of the case to a sessions court, he said: "The fact is that I will not succumb to inducement of money or power. Whether this is known to those in power or not, God knows it and Ms Jayalalitha also knows it."
He hoped Jayalalitha remembers the speech made by AIADMK founder and the late chief minister M G Ramachandran in the state assembly in 1980 that he (Ramachandran) would bow before justice, after indirectly praising him (Sambandam) for his impeccable judgments.
Coming down hard on Elavarasi, he said the petition had been filed to protract the trial proceedings and was an exercise in mudslinging.
The case relates to the alleged amassment of wealth to the tune of Rs666.5 million by Jayalalitha during her five-year tenure as chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
Besides Jayalalitha and Elavarasi, the others accused in the case are Sasikala Natarajan, a close aide of the AIADMK general secretary, and her erstwhile foster-son V N Sudhakaran.
Going down memory lane, the judge recalled that he had used his discretion while remanding to judicial custody some AIADMK workers arrested for staging an agitation against the dismissal of the MGR government.
Sambandam said that in view of the poor health of one of the arrested persons, he had declined to remand him and had, in fact, released him on bail on his own bond. He was neither a politically influential man nor a moneybag, he added.
"I went to various hospitals to remand some other arrested persons. The remand process went on from 1600 hours till 0130 hours," he said, recalling that Ramachandran, after winning the subsequent election, had indirectly praised him in the assembly.
"This must be in the assembly notes and it was widely published in the media," he added.
The judge also pointed out that when he was the third additional judge of the city civil and sessions court, he had dismissed as not maintainable for want of sanction, a private complaint against Jayalalitha lodged by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy.
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