Chennai

FERA case: Sasikala to be quizzed via video conferencing

V.K. Sasikala  

Charges are likely to be framed through video conferencing against jailed AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala in cases registered by the Enforcement Directorate under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).

On Thursday, A. Zakir Hussain, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate-Economic Offence I, allowed her petition seeking to be questioned through video conferencing from the Parappana Agrahara Prison in Bengaluru.

Pronouncing the order on her petition, Mr. Hussain said Sasikala was allowed to appear through video conferencing, but imposed strict conditions including filing an undertaking in the form of an affidavit that she would not challenge video conferencing in future on grounds of its quality or that she did not understand the proceedings.

Her undertaking should be attested by the jail authority concerned.

After going into past records of the cases, the ACMM said, “It is necessary that Sasikala should also state in the undertaking whether questions should be put to her in Tamil or English.”

On filing such an affidavit, the copy would be forthwith communicated to the Karnataka Home Secretary and the Superintendent of Parappana Agragara prison, where she is serving a sentence in a disproportionate assets case, to make necessary arrangements for her questioning, the ACMM said.

If Sasikala failed to comply with the conditions within two weeks, her petition for video conferencing shall stand dismissed as it will be deemed that she is unwilling for examination by video conferencing, said Mr. Hussain.

No permission sought

The Enforcement Directorate had said that as chairperson-cum-director of JJTV Private Limited, Sasikala had authorised the company’s managing director and her nephew V. Bhaskaran to negotiate and enter into a contract with any foreign supplier with a transponder facility for launching a Tamil satellite TV channel in the early 1990s. In pursuit of this, payments were made to firms in U.S. and Singapore dollars for hiring transponders and uplink facilities for JJ TV without getting the permission of the Reserve Bank of India.

Sasikala and Mr. Bhaskaran were cited as accused in these cases.

Another case

Another case was filed against Sasikala in 2001 on the charges of acquiring a huge amount of foreign exchange illegally through an acquaintance in Malaysia and utilising that money to purchase the Kodanad tea estate in the Nilgiris district.

When Mr. Hussain summoned the accused to appear for the framing of charges, Sasikala sought permission to appear through video conferencing from the Parappana Agrahara prison. However, the ED insisted on her personal appearance before the court.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 5:41:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/fera-case-sasikala-to-be-quizzed-via-video-conferencing/article18386115.ece

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