Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's hearing in connection with the Rs.66.6-crore disproportionate assets case against her has now been posted to November 22 after her counsel B. Kumar sought a change in date at the Special Court set up at Gandhi Bhavan in Parappana Agrahara in Bangalore on Tuesday.
On October 21, the court had adjourned the hearing in the case to November 8, as recording of Ms. Jayalalithaa's statement had remained inconclusive. The Chief Minister then filed an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking permission to be exempted from attending in person for the hearing. She said she did not want to inconvenience the people of Bangalore and sought permission to answer questions in writing. The court turned down her appeal, but said she should be given a date of her choice.
Quoting the Supreme Court order, Mr. Kumar filed an application before the Special Court Judge B.M. Mallikarjunaiah on behalf of Ms. Jayalalithaa to re-fix the date for her questioning on November 22 as "she had some official engagements." "A meeting of District Collectors in the coming days and the flood situation in Tamil Nadu were cited as reasons for a change in the date," sources said.
Mr. Kumar later told mediapersons that the court had approved their application and fixed the date for November 22. "The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister will appear on that date before the court and answer further questions and if the questioning is not completed on that day, it will go on the next day," he said.
Other persons accused in the case Sasikala, Ilavarasi and T.V. Sudhakaran were present at the court on Tuesday. However, they were not questioned because their questioning can begin only after the questioning of Ms. Jayalalithaa, sources said.
Last month, after two days of marathon sessions wherein her response to 567 questions of the total 1,339 questions were recorded, the Special Court had adjourned the proceedings till November 8 (as the recording remained inconclusive). The questions were prepared by the court based on evidence gathered from 259 witnesses in the case.
During the nearly six-hour-long court proceedings on October 21, Ms. Jayalalitha had replied to 188 questions, which mostly pertained to her properties, including diamond jewellery, saris, footwear, silverware and companies. Her response to 379 questions was recorded on October 20.