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‘Fake scheme used to explain away huge money’

The 'Jaya Publications' building at Guindy Industrial Estate in Chennai. Photo: S. R. Raghunathan   | Photo Credit: S R RAGHUNATHAN

Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her close aide V. K. Sasikala propped up a fictitious subscription scheme through Jaya Publications as an “afterthought” to account for Rs 14 crore of disproportionate income.

This was the conclusion arrived at by the Special Judge John Michael Cunha in the disproportionate assets case in which he convicted Ms. Jayalalithaa and three other accused on Saturday.

According to the judgement, accessed by The Hindu, Ms. Jayalalithaa and Ms. Sasikala became the partners of Jaya Publications in 1990. According to their lawyers, the firm, in the same year, launched a subscription scheme for ‘Dr. Namathu MGR’, the mouth piece of the AIADMK .

Under the scheme, it was shown that the firm was able to collect over Rs 14 crore as lifetime subscription deposit. For every Rs 3000 paid, one copy of the newspaper was sent to the subscriber.

Investigating the subscription scheme, Judge Cunha points out that the explanation of the deposit scheme had emerged only after the filing of the chargesheet in the case. “There is not even a stray evidence to suggest that the said deposit scheme was in circulation any time before the registration of the criminal case,” the judgement read.

Bulldozing the arguments of the defence that IT returns duly accounted for this income during the relevant years and had been accepted by authorities, Judge Cunha says, “the existence of the scheme was brought to light only in 1998 in the IT returns filed on behalf of the said firms.”

> Read the copy of the full judgment

The Hindu exclusively accesses the court order in Jayalalithaa wealth case verdict

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday decided to hear the bail application of AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Wednesday morning, hours after the hearing was adjourned to next week. >Read here

Interestingly, the copy of the complaint too is not forthcoming and even this explanation has been believed by the Income Tax department. >Read here

The court brought down the total wedding expenditure claimed by the prosecution from Rs 6.45 crore to Rs 3 crore. It said evidence clinchingly established that the expenses were paid for by Ms. Jayalalithaa herself. She had before the wedding declared Mr. Sudhakaran her foster son, but later disowned him. >Read here

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 3:09:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/%E2%80%98Fake-scheme-used-to-explain-away-huge-money%E2%80%99/article11056030.ece

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