Jayalalithaa Disproportionate Assets Case: It Was An Arithmetic Error That Helped Her, Claims Opposition

13/05/2015 9:33 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Leader of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party and Chief Minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa (C) presents a laptop computer to a student (L) during a ceremony in Chennai on September 15, 2011. The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on September 15 began a 2 billion USD giveaway of free laptops to every student in state-run schools and colleges over the next five years. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

CHENNAI — Two major opposition parties in Tamil Nadu - the DMK and PMK - on Tuesday urged the Karnataka government to go in appeal against the Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting former chief minister Jayalalithaa in disproportionate assets case — because they claimed that it was arithmetical errors that helped her case.

In a statement here, DMK president M Karunanidhi said Karnataka High Court Justice CR Krishnaswamy in his verdict has said Jayalalithaa did not have assets worth around Rs 66 crore and overruled the trial court's order.

Karunanidhi said listing out the borrowings from Indian Bank by Jayalalithaa and others, the judge had arrived at a total of Rs 24,17,31,274.

"Anybody who knows addition would tell the total would be only Rs 10,67,31,274. But the judge had calculated it as Rs 24,17,31,274 and said that it was wrong to file a case against Jayalalithaa for disproportionate assets of Rs 66 crore," Karunanidhi said.

The difference between these two figures is around Rs 13.50 crore.

Similarly, the judge has reduced the amount spent on the wedding of Sudhakaran and value of Jayalalithaa's house at Poes Garden without explaining the rationale for that, Karunanidhi said.

The judge in his order said the prosecution has mixed up assets of accused, firms and companies and also added the cost of construction amounting to Rs 27,79,88,945 and marriage expenses at Rs 6,45,04,222 to value the assets at Rs 66,44,73,573.

"If we remove the exaggerated value of cost of construction and marriage expenses, the assets will work out at Rs 37,59,02,466," Justice Kumaraswamy said.

The total income of the accused, firms and companies is Rs 34,76,65,654 and thus percentage of disproportionate assets is 8.12 percent.

"It is relatively small. In the instant case, the disproportionate asset is less than 10 percent and it is within permissible limit. Therefore, accused are entitled for acquittal," the order stated.

"When the principal accused has been acquitted, the other accused, who have played a lesser role are also entitled for acquittal," Justice Kumaraswamy said.

PMK's Ramadoss said as per the high court's order, a sum of Rs.13.50 crore has been wrongly added to Jayalalithaa's income.

He said if this sum is deducted from Jayalalithaa's income then her total income would be Rs 21,26,65,654.

According to Ramadoss going by the high court's order, Jayalalithaa's assets are valued at Rs 37,59,02,466.

The difference between the value of assets and her total income works out to Rs 16,32,36,812, which is 76.75 percent higher than Jayalalithaa's income, Ramadoss said.

He added that Jayalalithaa and her associates could not be acquitted even under criterion in the Krishnanand Agnihotri (Krishnanand Aggnihotri vs State of MP) case, where it was held that if there is disproportionate asset to the extent of 10 percent, the accused are entitled for acquittal.

Neither could Jayalalithaa and her associates be released under the Andhra Pradesh government circular that states that disproportionate assets to the extent of 20 percent can also be considered as a permissible limit, Ramadoss said.

Hence Karuanidhi and Ramadoss have urged the Karnataka government to go in appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court judgment.

A DMK leader told IANS on the condition of anonymity that the party is also exploring legal options.

DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan is one of the petitioners in the case against Jayalalithaa.

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