London Hotels case against Jayalalithaa
BANGALORE: The disproportionate assets case against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday took a new turn when the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), Chennai, filed an application before the Special Court in Bangalore seeking permission to withdraw prosecution against her in the London Hotels case.
It relates to acquisition of assets (two hotels) in London by Ms.Jayalalithaa and T.T.V.Dinakaran.
In its application, the DVAC, through Special Public Prosecutor B.V.Acharya, said during the pendency of the disproportionate assets case against Jayalalithaa and others before the 11th Additional Special Judge, Chennai, another chargesheet was filed against her and Mr.Dinakaran.
Both cases were subsequently transferred by the Supreme Court to the 34th Additional Sessions Court (Special Court), Bangalore.
The DVAC said that the present application was filed only in respect of the second charge sheet and that it did not pertain to the first one. While the first case pertained to acquisition of assets in India, the second related to acquisition of property abroad.
Mr.Acharya said on July 22, 2001, a new Investigating Officer, Subburam (Additional Superintendent of Police), obtained permission under Section 173 (8) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) from the Special Judge, Chennai, for further investigation into the second case.
After this was conducted, S.Subramaniam, IRS, was examined as a witness and his statement recorded. The statement ruled out involvement of Ms.Jayalalithaa in the second case.
The statement of some other witnesses recorded during further investigation weakened the case of the prosecution.
Paucity of evidence
The charges in the second case were likely to fail for paucity of evidence and prospect of successful prosecution was remote. Therefore, Mr. Acharya said, he had formed an opinion that it would be just and proper to withdraw from prosecution in the second case and peruse the first one in which the trial was nearing completion.
Special Judge A.T.Munnoli took the application on record and posted it for reply on May 25.