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May 5, 2000
SC reprieve for Jaya in colour TV scam
In a reprieve to AIADMK chief J Jayalalitha, the prime accused in the Rs 9 crore colour TV scam, the Supreme Court today directed the Madras special court trying the case, to grant her one more opportunity to examine the defence witnesses in the case.
''As a court of justice, we are of the view that one more opportunity should be given to her to examine the defence witnesses,'' said a division bench, comprising Justices K T Thomas and R P Sethi, when a list of four witnesses including Jayalalitha were filed as per the judges' direction yesterday.
The judges said that the trial court should hand over the summons to be served on the witnesses on May 9 to her counsel and examination of these witnesses should begin not later than May 15.
The bench, with this direction, disposed of a special leave petition by the AIADMK leader.
The SLP was directed against a Madras high court order, dismissing her two petitions against refusal of the trial court to recall prosecution witnesses as also against its order closing the evidence in the case.
As the prosecution evidence was closed in the case, the special judge proceeded to question the accused in the case and on the completion of this process, it posted the case for defence evidence on March 29.
Since Jayalalitha did not produce any defence witnesses nor submit a list of them, despite three opportunities given to her for the purpose, the trial court closed the defence evidence and posted the case for argument on April 12.
Jayalalitha filed an application before the trial court for recalling 12 prosecution witnesses which was dismissed. She therefore filed two writ petitions before the high court, challenging the trial court order refusing to recall the prosecution witnesses as also its order closing the defence evidence in the case. The high court dismissed both the petitions and hence the SLP before the apex court, which was disposed of today.
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