Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha on Tuesday appeared in the special court on the city’s outskirts amid tight security and deposed for the third time in the Rs.66 crore disproportionate assets case against her.
As the deposition was inconclusive, special judge BM Mallikarjunaiah directed Jayalalitha to appear in the court again on Wednesday to answer the remaining 192 of the 1,339 queries framed in the 15-year-old case after she responded to 580 questions during the day-long hearing.
Though Jayalalitha replied to 567 questions in the first two hearings Oct 20-21, the judge posted the case to Nov 8 for recording her answers to the remaining 769 questions.
After the Supreme Court rejected her special plea for exemption from further appearance and sought permission to file written replies, the trial court posted the case to Tuesday.
“Many of the questions in today’s (Tuesday) deposition pertained to acquisition of properties by firms in which Jayalalitha was a dormant partner and the extravagant wedding of her foster son V. Sudhakaran,” special public prosecutor B.V. Acharya told reporters later.
When the prosecution stated that about Rs.6 crore was spent on the lavish wedding, Jayalalitha refuted the charge and told the judge that as the entire expenses were borne by the bride’s family, she did not spend a single rupee.
The AIADMK supremo, who was accompanied by her friend Sasikala Natarajan and Sudhakaran to the city, returned to Chennai by a special aircraft later in the day.
As the high-profile chief minister comes under Z plus security, city police clamped prohibitory order and imposed section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the area around the make-shift court hall near the Parappanna Agrahara central jail in the south-eastern suburb of the city.
The case was filed in a Chennai court in 1996 soon after Jayalalitha lost power but was transferred by the apex court to Bangalore in 2003 for fair and free trial at the request of the then opposition party (DMK) when she became chief minister for the second time in 2001.