TAMIL NADU

Karunanidhi seeks apology from Jayalalithaa

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday issued notice to AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, seeking an unconditional apology for her “malicious and defamatory statement” on the funds he collected for the relief of Sri Lankan Tamils.

In the notice, Additional Advocate-General P.Wilson said that in the statement dated January 22, Ms. Jayalalithaa had badly commented upon the effort. Mr. Karunanidhi had explained how the fund was being utilised.

The notice said she had held the post of Chief Minister and was the Leader of the Opposition now. “In such capacities, you should be knowing pretty well about the functional aspects of the government in the matter of collection, accounting and utilisation of such funds.” The fund was collected by cheques and demand drafts. A small amount of Rs.64,080, received by way of cash by the Finance Department from various persons had also been remitted into the account. Thus every coin had been accounted for and released only through government orders.

Custodian of funds

The government collected funds for the relief of the Tamils through the International Red Cross Society after obtaining permission from the Union government, so the government was the custodian of the funds. Hence there was no question of “siphoning off” of the funds by any person, and the working system of the government also did not permit anyone to do so, the notice said.

“The deliberate imputations were intentionally made by you to malign the honour of my client as if he had siphoned off the funds collected for the relief of Sri Lankan Tamils,” the notice said.

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