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|August 18, 2000||
CBI chargesheets Jaya in SPIC case: PTI
A special judge on Friday summoned former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha to appear in court on September 4 in a corruption case relating to disinvestment of the state's stakes in petro-chemical giant SPIC in 1992.
Judge A C Arumugaperumal Adityan issued summons to the AIADMK supremo, then state industries secretary C Ramachandran and SPIC vice-president A C Muthiah after taking cognisance of a chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation earlier in the day.
The CBI took up investigation into the renunciation of stakes held by Tamil Nadu Industries Development Corporation in the Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation (SPIC) on a December 1997 directive of the Madras high court.
On December 15, 1997, Justice Y Venkatachalam, allowing three writ petitions filed by Dr Subramanian Swamy, had held then SPIC chairman M A Chidambaram (now deceased), then vice president Muthiah and Jayalalitha responsible for causing a loss while fixing the renunciation price and asked them to pay the amount to the government to make good the loss.
However, a division bench stayed the direction pertaining to the payment.
Chidambaram has also been cited as an accused but charges against him will abate as he is no more.
Jayalalitha and Ramachandran have been charged under Sections 120-B IPC read with 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). They have also been charged with specific offences under Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of PCA, while Muthiah has been charged under Sections 109 IPC read with Section 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of the PCA.
The CBI has charged Jayalalitha and Ramachandran with abusing official positions to favour Chidambaram's return as SPIC chairman and causing a loss to the state by relinquishing TIDCO's rights to invest in zero conversion bonds issued by SPIC.
The chargesheet and other documents, running into 1,000 pages, also contained the Tamil Nadu governor's sanction under Section 197 CrPC to prosecute Jayalalitha and Ramachandran.
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, party state president V S Chandralekha, who had questioned the renunciation as then TIDCO chairman, another former industries secretary P C Cyriac and other officials are among the 27 listed as prosecution witnesses.
Former state chief secretary T V Venkataraman and former finance secretary Narayanan who had earlier been named in the first information report, however, have not been included as accused due to lack of evidence against them.
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