I was managing the affairs of the companies, she tells court
“I was taking care of the administration of Jaya Publications Ltd. and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was not involved with the affairs of the firm. I alone operated the bank accounts,” Sasikala, former aide of Ms. Jayalalithaa, deposed in the Special Court here on Saturday.
Ms. Sasikala was replying to a question by the judge about the management of the firms, based on the statements given by witnesses.
Ms. Jayalalithaa was only a “dormant partner” in Jaya Publications Ltd. and Sasi Enterprises, she said, during recording of her statement under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) in the disproportionate assets case against Ms. Jayalalithaa and three others. Ms. Sasikala is the second accused. V.N. Sudhagaran and Ilavarasi are the other accused.
In connection with Sasi Enterprises, Ms. Sasikala said, “I was managing the affairs of the firm. Ms. Jayalalithaa was not involved in the affairs. I alone operated accounts…Ms. Jayalalithaa remained a dormant partner in the firm.”
In her statement recorded during October-November last year, Ms. Jayalalithaa too submitted that she was only a “dormant partner.”
Ms. Sasikala replied to 40 questions with the help of an interpreter appointed by the court due to her inability to understand English. The court will continue recording her statement on February 23. She has to answer about 1,000 questions.
Earlier, when the proceedings began, Ms. Sasikala's counsel urged the court to defer recording of statement as a special leave petition — seeking a direction to the Special Court to translate into Tamil all the questions to be asked by the judge — was pending before the Supreme Court. However, Special Court judge B.M. Mallikarjunaiah rejected the plea stating that the Supreme Court had not passed any order. Both the Special Court and the Karnataka High Court have already rejected her plea.
The judge also rejected a plea for recording statements only three days a week.
Counsel said it would be difficult for them to stay in Bangalore for the entire week as they were also appearing in cases before different courts in Tamil Nadu and they [counsel] “may fall sick” if they stay in Bangalore continuously for a week due to change of weather and food.
However, Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya said the case had to proceed on a day-to-day basis as per the directions of the Supreme Court, and the Special Court would be in contempt if proceedings were not conducted every day.