Tamil Nadu

The two verdicts

Print edition : June 12, 2015

NO other corruption case against a public servant has seen such sharp differences in the findings of the trial court and the appellate High Court as the Rs.66.65 crore disproportionate assets case against Jayalalithaa. The trial court’s Special Judge, John Michael D’Cunha, found all the four accused, Jayalalithaa and her associates Sasikala Natarajan, V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Ilavarasi, guilty of corruption, abetment and criminal conspiracy under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). However, the Karnataka High Court Judge C.R. Kumaraswamy acquitted all of them and exonerated them of all these charges. He also set aside the order of the trial court relating to confiscation of the movable and immovable properties of the accused.

The divergence is nowhere sharper than in their findings relating to the expenses of the wedding of Sudhakaran (on September 7, 1995) and the subscription scheme floated by Namadhu MGR, an AIADMK newspaper owned by Jaya Publications, in which Jayalalithaa and Sasikala were partners.

There are also differences in the judges’ estimates of the cost of new and additional construction in the properties owned by the accused and differences in their views on the charges of criminal conspiracy and abetment, and so on.

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