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Updated: October 4, 2011 12:20 IST

Proceedings in gifts case against Jayalalithaa quashed

K.T. Sangameswaran
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A file photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. Photo: DIPR
A file photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. Photo: DIPR

The Madras High Court on Friday quashed the entire proceedings in the ‘gifts case' against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and two others.

In his order, Justice K.N.Basha said if the factual scenario in the instant case, coupled with the sequence of events, resulting in inordinate and unexplained delay of 10 years in completing the investigation, was tested on the touchstone of Supreme Court principles, he had no hesitation in holding that the petitioner's constitutional right to speedy trial stood flagrantly violated.

The CBI case was that Ms.Jayalalithaa accepted demand drafts totally valued at Rs.1.48 crore on her birthday in 1992.

Besides her, Agriculture Minister K.A.Sengottaiyan and a former Minister, Azhagu Thirunavukkarasu, were cited as accused for abetment.

With Friday's development, the only major case pending against her is the ‘disproportionate wealth case' before a Bangalore court.

Ms.Jayalalithaa moved the High Court seeking to quash the proceedings mainly on grounds of delay in registering the FIR and filing of the charge sheet. She also challenged an order of the Principal Judge for CBI cases dismissing her petition seeking discharge.

Mr.Sengottaiyan and Mr.Thirunavukkarasu filed petitions in the High Court against the dismissal of their discharge applications by the trial court.

In the common order, Mr.Justice Basha said the entire allegations against Ms.Jayalalithaa were founded on the basis of disclosure of the gifts received by her in her income-tax returns.

The FIR was not registered based on any complaint by any aggrieved person or from any other source of information.

Therefore, it was crystal clear that she had not suppressed any material factor. The FIR was registered on the allegation of receipt of 89 demand drafts from 57 persons including a foreign DD for $3 lakh, totalling Rs. 2 crore.

But, ultimately at the time of filing of the charge sheet, the allegation was confined to 21 persons including Mr.Sengottaiyan and Mr.Thirunavukkarasu.

The value of the DDs came to Rs.1.48 crore. As regards the foreign DD, it was stated that no offence was made out.

The fault of the CBI cannot be a shield to an accused. The accused is in power and also enjoyed the same office previously, it clearly denotes the powerful arms can take undue advantage by all means. It is ridiculous. The supreme court should take up the matter suo moto.

from:  S S Sampath
Posted on: Oct 3, 2011 at 06:18 IST

Surprising judgement, if this case has to be dropped because of delay then all the cases has to be dropped in this country, this honourable judge clearly knows that delay is not new to our courts, even in cases of deciding death penalty there's delay, wonder what made this Judge to decide this way, once again this proves that we need Jan Lokpal Bill to deal with judges and policitians.

from:  Xavier surender
Posted on: Oct 1, 2011 at 12:23 IST

if there is 10 Years Delay in Investigation..can case be Quashed..High Court should take Note that accused is a CM ...so delay would be there..CBI should appeal in Supreme Court...

from:  suresh
Posted on: Oct 1, 2011 at 11:58 IST

The officials in the CBI may be questioned/punished for delay in filing the FIR, but the case need not be dropped.Such cases dilute the confidence of the public in prosecution of VIP`s.The Supreame Court needs to intervene. The case must go on to its logical conclusion

from:  p c chopra
Posted on: Oct 1, 2011 at 08:32 IST

It is an appropriate and and timely judgement. There is nothing wrong in accepting birth day gifts in cash or kind as is prevalent in India. Ms.J.Jayalalitha being a VIP of a National Party, definitely gifts may pour in. More importantly, these are by way of DDs/Cheques. If these gifts were disclosed voluntarily in the IT Return pertaining to the corresponding assessment year and paid taxes, the matter should have treated as closed. CBI ought not have interfered in this matter.

from:  Purushothaman
Posted on: Sep 30, 2011 at 23:35 IST
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