The Karnataka High Court on Monday declared that the prosecution’s charges that AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa amassed wealth and acquired agricultural lands, sites, floated firms, etc “cannot be believed because the money that has been spent for acquiring the said properties can be inferred from the loans borrowed from nationalised banks.”
Also, the court said not only the source of incomes of V.K Sasikala, V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Ilavarasi was “lawful” but “object is also lawful.”
In his verdict, Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy held that the prosecution had not adduced any evidence to the effect that Ms. Jayalalithaa instigated or conspired with other accused to acquire lands and immovable properties in their names.
“The prosecution mainly relies on evidence of the sub-registrar and brokers and also sale deeds. Except marking the sale deeds, there is no other evidence. The burden lies on the prosecution to establish the benami transaction. The prosecution has not adduced any evidence with regard to allegation of benami transaction,” the court held.
‘Confiscation not sustainable’ “The immovable properties were acquired by borrowing huge loans from the nationalised banks. It is difficult to infer that the properties were acquired by means of ill-gotten money. Therefore, in my view, confiscation of the properties by the trial court is not sustainable in law,” said Justice Kumaraswamy.
The clinching argument
The value of disproportionate assets was Rs. 2.82 crore and this value was not enough to convict them on charges of corruption, said Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy in his verdict while disagreeing with the verdict of the Special Court, which had computed the value of DA at Rs. 53.6 crore.
How DA account for less than 10% of total income?
- Vigilance probe’s findings: Construction costs: Rs.27,79,88, 945 Marriage expenses: Rs.6,25,04,222
- High Court’s findings: Construction costs: Rs.5,10,54,060 Marriage expenses: Rs.28,68,000
- Exaggerated value: Construction costs: Rs.2,69,34,885 Marriage expenses: Rs.6,16,36,222
- Total assets: Vigilance estimate - Exaggerated value Rs. 37,59,02,466
- Disproportionate assets: Total assets - Total income
- Rs.37,59,02,466-Rs.34,76,65,654 = Rs.2,82,36,812
- Rs.2,82,36,812 x 100/Rs.34,76,65,654=
The Hindu Editorial
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