Tamil Nadu

How TTV Dinakaran got relief from Jayalalithaa wealth case

TTV Dinakaran. File photo.   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

Jailed AIADMK chief V.K. Sasikala’s nephew, T.T.V. Dinakaran, who was on Wednesday appointed party deputy general secretary, too has had his share of legal encounters, escaping prosecution in some and continuing to fight a few court battles now.

Mr. Dinakaran incidentally was arraigned as Accused Number 5 through a supplementary charge-sheet in the disproportionate wealth case in which his aunts and cousin have been convicted. However, he did not face trial as the Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya moved the Supreme Court and sought to withdraw the case “for want of evidence.”

Originally, former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran were arraigned as accused in the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case (in which the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on Tuesday). When the recording of evidence was completed in the case, the prosecution submitted that the Investigation Officer had gathered details about the acquisition of hotels in London through illegal transfer of money abroad by Jayalalithaa and Mr. Dinakaran. It came to be known as the London Hotel Case and the value of the properties was put at Rs. 280 crore.

Later, the London Hotel Case was clubbed with the disproportionate assets case and Mr. Dinakaran was included as the fifth accused with the intention of prosecuting only him and Jayalalithaa for this offence, while the remaining four accused would separately face prosecution in the main assets case.

However, when the case was vested with Mr Acharya, after the trial was transferred from Chennai to Bengaluru, he found that four years had elapsed with no trial. In the meantime the new Investigation Officer Subramanian was of the view that the available material was not enough to put the accused to trial in the London Hotel Case component. Also nine witnesses were abroad and may not come to depose and three witnesses turned hostile.

“Even though there is evidence regarding acquisition of property in London and its subsequent disposal, it will be difficult to prove connection between the sources illegally acquired in India by a public servant (Jayalalithaa) and the payment of consideration for the sale abroad, as according to the prosecution case, the money available in India has been utilised for purchase of property abroad by adopting hawala means,” the Supreme Court noted. “It is thus difficult to prove this aspect of the case. The evidence regarding Mr. Dinakaran, acquiring properties abroad, cannot be of much assistance unless it is shown that the source to acquire the property belonged to Jayalalithaa, who alone is a public servant in the case,” it was pointed out.

Hence Mr. Acharya sought to withdraw the prosecution of Jayalalithaa and Sudhakaran and the same was allowed by the Supreme Court in late 2009.

Another reason why Mr Acharya sought to delink the two components from the case was to ensure speedy trial in the original case, which had already dragged for many years since it was registered in 1996.

Thus Mr Dinakaran escaped prosecution in the case.

The former MP faced many other cases. Just last month the Madras High Court upheld a fine of Rs 25 crore imposed on him in a two-decade old FERA violation case relating to illegal remittance of huge cash into various bank accounts.

Similarly, the High Court recently directed him and Sasikala to face trial in a couple of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violation cases – all registered during 1995-96. Sasikala has two additional FERA violation cases to deal with.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 6:45:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/How-TTV-Dinakaran-got-relief-from-Jayalalithaa-wealth-case/article17307798.ece

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