Tamil Nadu

One year on, there is no sign of confiscation of assets in Jayalalithaa case

68 immovable properties of six companies spread across six districts attached

More than a year after the Supreme Court upheld the trial court verdict in the disproportionate assets case against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, her close aide V K Sasikala and two others, there is no sign of the AIADMK government taking possession of 68 immovable properties of six companies spread across six districts attached in the case.

Though in March 2017 the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) wrote to Collectors of the six districts, including Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, to immediately take possession of the properties, there has been no perceptible action to comply with the court order so far, sources in the DVAC said.

Collectors of two districts had sought some clarifications on certain legal aspects involved in taking possession of the properties. On taking possession, the government will become the owner of these properties, which can either be used for official purposes or sold in public auction.

What the court said

The trial court had ordered that all immovable properties registered in the names of Lex Property Developments Pvt. Ltd., Meadow Agro Farms Pvt. Ltd., Ramaraj Agro Mills Pvt. Ltd., Signora Business Enterprises (P) Ltd., Riverway Agro Products (P) Ltd., and Indo Doha Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd., which were attached in two government orders, be confiscated by the government.

 

The court further ordered that necessary direction be issued to the banks concerned to remit the proceeds of fixed deposits and cash balance standing to the credit of the respective accused in their bank accounts and the proceeds thereof be appropriated and adjusted towards the fine amounts.

If the fine fell short after adjustment, the gold and diamond ornaments seized and produced before the court should be sold to the RBI or SBI or by public auction to make deficit of fine amount good.

Enclosing this copy of the order that was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court on February 14, 2017, the DVAC wrote to the Collectors to take possession of the immovable properties under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Revenue Recovery Act.

Parrying questions on the status of jewels and other valuables in the custody of the Reserve Bank of India, sources in the agency said adjusting cash in the bank accounts of the convicts towards fine was a judicial process since it was in the custody of the trial court.

 

However, an official of the RBI said that no communication was received from any authority on the auction of the jewels. “We are only custodians of the valuables and status quo remains on the issue,” he added.

Stand of Karnataka

The Director of Prosecution and Government Litigations, Karnataka, K. Rudraswamy, told The Hindu that the issue was not under his purview.

“The State engaged [Karnataka] Special Public Prosecutors to conduct the case, which ended in conviction. Now it is up to the prosecuting agency to ensure the compliance of the court order,” he said.

A senior official in the City Civil Courts administration, under which the trial court functions in Bengaluru, said the court order as regards confiscation of assets had to be enforced by the DVAC.

He said he was not aware of the progress made in adjusting cash balances in the bank accounts of convicts towards the fine amount and also the auctioning of valuables in the custody of RBI, Chennai.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2020 6:09:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jayalalithaa-case-one-year-on-there-is-no-sign-of-confiscation-of-assets/article23013531.ece

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