The government of Tamil Nadu has begun confiscating properties belonging to the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her three associates, who were convicted in the disproportionate assets case in February this year.
According to The Hindu, the collectors of six districts were asked to take possession of 68 properties registered in the name of six firms owned by the former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo or her aides VK Sasikala, J Elavarasi and VN Sudhakaran.
The last three are in currently serving a jail term after the Supreme Court upheld an earlier trial court verdict convicting them of amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, which is the prosecuting agency in the case, is marking up land worth crores of rupees that would now legally belong to the state government. Any property that was attached earlier in the case — there were 128 of those, of which 68 are to be confiscated — has been asked not to get into any transaction.
The prosecution had found Jayalalithaa and her associates guilty of owning assets to the tune of over ₹60 crore, far exceeding their known sources of income. The lion's share of the properties were believed to be gathered between 1991-96, when Jayalalithaa served as the chief minister of the state.
Since Jayalalithaa's death in December 2016, her family, especially her niece Deepa Jayakumar and her brother Deepak, have staked claim as the legal heirs to her properties.
Deepa, who is fashioning herself in a bid to kick start her political career, recently accused Sasikala's faction of the AIADMK of trying to swindle her and her brother out of their legitimate right.
Sasikala, who is serving her term in a prison in Bengaluru, has filed for a review petition in the Supreme Court challenging her sentencing.
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