The Special Court here trying the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was able to get answers for only 23 questions from her former aide and co-accused Sasikala, during the five-hour-long proceedings on Thursday.

“Slow rate”

Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya, criticising the “slow rate” of the recording of answers and inaudibility of the replies by Ms. Sasikala, contended that her intention was to delay the proceedings.

Mr. Acharya pointed out that though Ms. Sasikala was replying in Tamil and the interpreter was translating into English, her reply should be audible to the prosecution and the judge. “She has to answer louder. Though I am not fluent in Tamil I can understand the language to some extent as I had, for some time, studied in Chennai.” The SPP also said that her answer should be precise and concise as she had the option of filing replies in writing to all the questions once the court concluded recording her statement under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC).

He pointed out that Ms. Jayalalithaa, the prime accused, had submitted a detailed written statement after she completed recording her statement orally.

When the court could record her answers to only 23 questions at the end of the day's proceedings, Sandesh J. Chouta, Assistant to the SPP, pointed out that at this rate it would take at least 40 days to complete the recording of her answers.

Ms. Sasikala had answered 40 questions on the first day of the recording of her statement on February 18.

Ms. Jayalalithaa had replied to nearly 1,400 questions in five sittings of five hours each during October-November last year.