The Hindu – Confiscation of properties begins in disproportionate assets case against Jayalalithaa, 3 others

Tamil Nadu government initiates the process in compliance with the trial court order that was upheld by Supreme Court

S Vijay Kumar

Chennai, 30 May 2017. The Tamil Nadu government has quietly initiated the process of confiscating properties attached in the disproportionate assets (DA) case against former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three others in compliance with the trial court order that was upheld by the Supreme Court in February.

Instructions to Collectors

Collectors of six districts, including Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, have been told to take physical possession of 68 properties registered in the name of six firms owned then by Jayalalithaa and her then close aide V K Sasikala, J Elavarasi and V N Sudhakaran (who are in jail).

Acting on the instructions of the government, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), which is the prosecuting agency in the case, wrote to the Collectors marking a copy to the State Vigilance Commissioner to confiscate the properties.

Identification of land

The lands located in the six districts were worth several hundreds of crores of rupees, DVAC sources said on Monday.
After identifying and marking the lands, revenue officials would put up boards indicating that the land belongs to the Tamil Nadu government and also write to the registration authorities not to entertain any transaction on the properties that were earlier attached by a Government Order in the wealth case.

Though 128 properties were actually attached in the case, the trial court ordered the confiscation of only 68.

“These are prominently located properties in Chennai, Kancheepuram and other districts. The purchase price, equivalent to the guideline value prevailing almost 20 years ago, is very less compared to the current market price,” a senior official told The Hindu.

“The Tamil Nadu government will become the owner of these properties, which can either be used for official purposes or sold in public auction,” the official said.

The case of the prosecution was that as on July 1, 1991, Jayalalithaa was found in possession of properties and pecuniary resources in her name and in the name of Ms Sasikala to the extent of only ₹2.01 crore.

But after July 1, 1991, there was a sudden spurt in the acquisition of assets and during the check period (July 1, 1991-April 30, 1996) when she was Chief Minister.

The prosecution submitted that Jayalalithaa, a public servant, and her associates amassed assets to the tune of ₹66.65 crore, which was grossly disproportionate to their known sources of income.

The trial court in Bengaluru, which held the value of the disproportionate assets to be ₹53.60 crore, convicted all the accused to four-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of ₹100 crore on Jayalalithaa and ₹10 crore each on Ms. Sasikala, Mr. Sudhakaran and Ms. Elavarasi.

After the order was set aside by the Karnataka High Court, the State of Karnataka went on appeal to the Supreme Court that upheld the order of the then trial court judge, John Michael D’ Cunha.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/confiscation-of-properties-begins-in-jaya-assets-case/article18620070.ece?homepage=true

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