The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption of the Tamil Nadu police Friday filed a charge-sheet against former Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalitha, for purchasing and disposing of property abroad, without a formal FERA declaration and Reserve Bank of India clearance.
Also charged in the case is AIADMK Member of Parliament T T V Dinakaran, a nephew of Jayalalitha's live-in confidante, Sasikala Natarajan.
According to the charge-sheet, Jayalalitha and Dinakaran purchased property worth Rs 121
crores in the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore. The
two had first procured the property when Jayalalitha was Chief Minister, and disposed it of later, the 2100-page charge-sheet said.
The charge-sheet was filed after investigating teams visited the countries and obtained court-attested authenticated documents to support their charge.
With 48 witnesses named in the charge-sheet, Principal Sessions Judge Ashok Kumar posted the case for April 17.
Jayalalitha had challenged the inclusion of the FERA case, even as investigations were on, when a separate case, charging her with possessing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income was in an advanced stage of prosecution.
Dinakaran has been convicted in the FERA-related JJ TV case, in which the Madras High Court upheld his conviction by a lower court, and lowered his fines from Rs 32 crore to Rs 28 crore.
Friday's charge-sheet assumes significance with the upcoming assembly elections, as mere conviction, including admonition by a court in a FERA case, can mean disqualification from contesting elections.
Against this, for cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, under which Jayalalitha has since been convicted, disqualification applies only in case of sentences above two years rigorous imprisonment.
However, there are indications that this FERA case may take time tin reaching the verdict stage, while in cases under the anti-corruption law, in which Jayalalitha has since been sentenced, suspension of conviction by an appellate court is required for contesting elections.
The Supreme Court has only suspended the sentence and not the conviction against Jayalalitha in the Tansi land deal case, in which the trial court had ordered three years RI. With the results, there are reported moves to get Dinakaran disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha, based on the conviction and sentencing in the JJ TV case.
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