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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2521

Jaya regime colour TV scam case: Madras HC acquits all

[caption id="attachment_4491" align="alignright" width="460" caption="Former Chief Minister Ms J Jayalalithaa"]Former Chief Minister  Ms J Jayalalithaa[/caption]

By Gopal Ethiraj, Chennai

Chennai, 22 August ( The trial-court acquittal of former Chief Minister Ms J Jayalalithaa, her close aide Sasikkala and her nephew Baskiran in the Colour TV scam case was upheld and an appeal petition filed by the State Government against the acquittal was dismissed by the Madras High Court today.

Mr. Justice M Jayapaul, delivering the judgment, also allowed the appeal petitions filed by those others’ convicted in the case by the trial court, including Jayalalithaa's erstwhile cabinet collegue T M Selvaganapathy, former Chief Secretary N Haribaskar, IAS officers H M Pandey, R Sathyamurthy and Selvaganapathy's personal assistant Janarthanam and two agents and acquitted them from the case.

The observations made by the trial court to acquit Jayalalithaa, Sasikkala and Baskiran will also be applicable for other persons allegedly involved in the scam, Mr. Justice Jayapaul said. He further said that the prosecution failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.

The judge, however, said the cost of the colour television sets purchased was above market value and caused a loss of Rs.10 crore to the government. And the prosecution had proved that the money was paid by the agents of six companies to the accused, including former Minister T.M. Selvaganapathy and senior IAS officer.

In 1996, Jayalalithaa was accused of receiving kickbacks of Rs 8.53 crores in a 1995 deal for purchase of 45,300 color TV sets for village community centres across the State.

The then DMK government even arrested Jayalalithaa on December 7, 1996. She was jailed for a month and then released. The 30-day period witnessed a political storm in the country. While Jayalalithaa was in jail, her house was raided. Her personal collection of clothes and jewelry had become a huge political debate.

Earlier, a special court that was hearing the case acquitted Jayalalithaa, her close aide Sasikkala Natarajan and Baskiran in the case. The Tamil Nadu government had appealed against this verdict.

- Asian Tribune -

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