Bangalore, Nov 22: Deposing for the third time before a special court here in the disproportionate assets case, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today fielded questions relating to firms in which she was a “dormant partner” and the extravagant wedding of her estranged foster son.
The closed-door hearing in the 15-year-old case at the makeshift court hall at the Parapana Agrahara Central Jail on city outskirts held amid tight security remained inconclusive and she would continue her deposition tomorrow.
Appearing before special judge B M Mallikarjunaiah, the AIADMK supremo faced 580 questions today, taking the total queries answered so far to 1,147 with 192 still left.
Briefing reporters on the proceedings, Special Public Prosecutor B V Acharya said the questioning began at 11 am and went on till 5.20 pm.
“The case has been adjourned to tomorrow. Probably by noon tomorrow, the entire proceedings relating to questioning will get over,” Acharya said.
“...some of the questions related to the wedding expenses of Sudhakaran (her estranged adopted son). According to the prosecution, nearly Rs 6 crore was spent on Sudhakaran's wedding. Jayalalithaa explained she had not spent a single pie and the entire expenses were incurred by the bride's family.”
Acharya said most of the questions today related to acquisition of property by the companies of which she was a “dormant partner and was not related to the day-to-day activities. Therefore, she said she has no knowledge of the acquisitions of those companies”.
Acharya said, as far as her bank transactions were concerned, “she admitted that all are true and on questioning on the accounts of the companies, she pleaded ignorance.”
Senior counsel representing Jayalalithaa, B Kumar said “nearly 580 questions were put. Questioning is incomplete, she will be appearing tomorrow at 11 am to take the remaining questions.”
He said questions pertained to what the prosecution witnesses have stated in their chief examination.
“The object of questioning is to give her an opportunity to say in her defence on the statements made by the prosecution witnesses. We hope that the questions will get over tomorrow.” Jayalalithaa, who flew into the city by a special aircraft in the morning, left for Chennai after the deposition.
She had appeared before the court on October 20 and 21 when she replied to about 571 questions framed by the court. After her appearance for two days, Jayalalithaa had moved the Supreme Court seeking exemption from personal appearance and pleading for submitting written answers.
However, after the apex court rejected her plea, she moved an application before the special judge seeking postponement of the November 8 hearing, following which the hearing was fixed for today.
Jayalalithaa has been charged with accumulation of wealth worth Rs 66 crore disproportionate to her known sources of income when she was the chief minister between 1991-96.
The trial was transferred from a Chennai court to Bangalore in 2003 by the Supreme Court on a petition by DMK General Secretary K Anbazhagan.