SC scripts the climax to the two-decade old wealth case

DA case: Swamy, the man who lodged the complaint

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. File photo.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

 

The disproportionate assets case in which former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala and others have been convicted, has its roots in a private complaint lodged by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who was then the the president of the Janata Party.

On June 14, 1996, Mr. Swamy filed a complaint before the Principal Sessions Judge in Chennai under Section 200 of the CrPc alleging that Jayalalithaa, after assuming office as the Chief Minister in 1991, had acquired properties and earned income disproportionate to her known sources of income.

He pointed out that during 1989-90, she had declared her wealth to be “Nil” and it increased to Rs. 1.89 crore in 1990-91. Subsequently, her wealth rose to Rs. 2.60 crore in 1991-92; Rs. 5.82 crore in 1992-93; Rs. 91.33 crore in 1993-94 and Rs. 38.21 crore during 1994-95. Jayalalithaa was drawing a token monthly salary of just Re. 1 as the Chief Minister.

Acting on his complaint, the judge, after recording Mr. Swamy’s sworn affidavit, ordered an investigation on June 21, 1996 under Section 17 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 202 CrPc. The judge had directed senior IPS officer Letika Saran to investigate the complaint, collect necessary materials and submit a report to the court within two months. The court also instructed the Director General of Police to give necessary assistance to her.

However, Jayalalithaa and Sasikala challenged the order in the High Court and obtained a stay on the investigation. But the High Court in September 1996 ordered the Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to investigate the complaint.

On the basis of this, Additional Superintendent of Police Nallamma Naidu took over investigation and registered an FIR against the accused. He obtained search warrants and raided Jayalalithaa's residence Veda Nilayam and other locations and seized various properties proving prima facie that there was evidence of accumulation of wealth disproportionate to known sources of income.

Jayalalithaa, who was arrested in another case, surrendered before a court in the case on December 21, 1996 and Sasikala surrendered on January 31, 1997. Her nephew and Jayalalithaa’s foster son (later disowned) V.N. Sudhakaran was arrested on January 23, 1997, while another relative Elavarasi, was granted anticipatory bail.

Mr. Naidu, on completing the investigation, filed a charge sheet against all the accused on June 4, 1997 in Chennai.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 11:14:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/DA-case-Swamy-the-man-who-lodged-the-complaint/article17300736.ece

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