The Special Court on Monday adjourned the trial of disproportionate assets case against AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa and three others till May 3.
Judge B.M. Mallikarjunaiah said the adjournment was in light of the Supreme Court's direction on March 19 to fix the schedule for further trial by giving reasonable opportunity to the parties.
On May 3, the court will not only fix the schedule but also look at whether the material with the court is sufficient to commence the trial. It will also pass orders on the appointment of translator for recording the evidence of witnesses in English, the Judge said.
The case has been booked by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption, Chennai against Ms. Jayalalithaa, Sasikala Natarajan, V. Sudhagaran and Illavarasi. The Special Court was hearing the case after it was transferred from the Chennai court.
The trial was stayed by the Supreme Court in 2005.
On Monday the Special Court was to commence examination of 42 witnesses, as sought by Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya. These 42 were among the 76 witnesses who had turned hostile during the trial held in Chennai. As many as 259 witnesses had been examined by the Chennai court.
Five witnesses – Assistant Executive Engineer Thiruthuvaraj, Additional Superintendent of Police Kadirasan, Jawahar S.S., Amanullah M and Delhi Rajan – were called on Monday. Only Mr. Rajan and Mr. Amanullah appeared before the court on Monday.
As the trial commenced today, advocate for Ms. Jayalalithaa A. Navaneethakrishnan filed an application to reschedule the trial as directed by the Supreme Court, saying that a reasonable time of eight weeks time was needed to go through the material related to case as the trial was starting after a long gap. Mr. Sudhagaran's advocate G. Saravan Kumar said the court should get from Chennai court the materials related to the case.
Though agreeing for giving reasonable time, Mr. Acharya said no new evidence was being adduced or documents being marked during the trial. “Since 76 witnesses have given evidence in contrary to the statements (before police), the Supreme Court has given opportunity for prosecution to cross-examine these witnesses,” he said.
Stating that three weeks time was reasonable, Mr. Acharya said, “We need to go on with the case as enough time has elapsed.”