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|June 23, 2000||
My signatures on Tansi sale documents were forged: Jaya
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha alleged in a special court in Madras on Friday that signatures, purportedly hers, on certain documents, pertaining to the sale of Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation property to Jaya Publications were forged.
Jayalalitha said this when she and her close friend Sasikala were questioned on depositions by prosecution witnesses against them in the TANSI land deal case. She accused prosecution witnesses of giving false testimony and being hand-in-glove with the present political dispensation.
"If at all my signature is found in these documents, they are forged," she said and requested special judge P Anbazhagan to institute an enquiry into how and why the forgery was committed.
Stating she had given Sasikala the power-of-attorney to sign on documents relating to the sale, Jayalalitha said that she was only a 'dormant' partner in the firm, while Sasikala was the managing partner. Hence, there was no need for her to affix her signature on sale deeds.
Sasikala alleged that only she had signed on the documents and that signatures claimed to be those of Jayalalitha had been added much later.
Denying that the sale process had commenced during her chief ministership, Jayalalitha said she might have reviewed it. She stated that the process had commenced in 1985 itself, and not after she assumed office in June 1991 as contended by a prosecution witness.
The questioning was stopped midway after Jayalalitha sought deferment citing health problems.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagan supremo had been discharged from the case by the Madras High Court in January. However, the Supreme Court reversed the order in April last and directed her to stand trial.
The other accused in the case - former rural industries minister Mohammed Asif, then chairman and managing director of TANSI, T R Srinivasan, former deputy collector (stamps) S Nagarajan and then secretary to the chief minister Karpoorasundara Pandian - had been questioned on June 20.
Jayalalitha and Sasikala would be questioned again on June 26 in another case relating to sale of TANSI property to Sasi Enterprises, another firm in which the two are partners.
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