news Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | October 1, 2014 | 4.07 pm IST Someone’s living arrangements are nobody’s business. But in Sasikala’s case, her living arrangements with Jayalalithaa actually formed part of the evidence that got all of them convicted for conspiracy. The News Minute has a copy of the judgement delivered by judge John Michael Cunha, which shows that the living arrangements of all four accused were one of the factors used as evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy on the part of Sasikala, Sudharakaran and Ilavarasi. Towards the end of the judgement, Judge Cunha says that while “feigning ignorance” of the activities of the other three accused, Jayalalithaa had failed to explain why they were living in her house. In their defence, the three accused had claimed that there was no conspiracy and Jayalalithaa had claimed that she did not know of the activities of the other three, who were, in fact, living in her Poes Garden residence in Chennai. Judge Cunha however, said in his judgement, that there was “overwhelming evidence” indicating the “active abetment and conspiracy by A2 to A4”. (Jayalalithaa is listed at Accused 1, Sasikala Natarajan Accused 2, V N Sudhakaran is Accused 3 and J Elavarasi is Accused 4.) In paragraph 96, the judgement says one of the circumstances that established a conspiracy was the formation of a number of firms in the names of Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi. Another circumstance, was the number of deposits in their bank accounts. The most interesting one, however, was fact of their living arrangements. Judge John Michael Cunha asks in the judgement why the three of them were living together in Jayalalithaa’s house. On page 890, the judgement says: “It cannot be believed that, being the Chief Minister of a state, she was unaware of the large scale activities carried on by the persons living in her own house using her own residential address. It has come in evidence that even the voters list of accused were maintained at the address of A1. Though in her 313 statement she has feigned ignorance of the dealings of A2 to A4, there is no explanation by A1 as to why and for what purpose A2 to A4 were living with her.” While acknowledging that merely living in the same house did not amount to criminal conspiracy, he judge pointed out that there was no blood relationship between any of them, and said: “the larger question that would arise for consideration is, why did they reside under the same roof with A1 when they are not related to each other.” What the judgement says about the living arrangements of Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, Sudhakaran, Ilavarasi There is no blood relationship between the four accused. Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi told the court that they were no dependent on Jayalalithaa for their living, and each one claimed to have independent source of living, they bought their assets with their own money. “Then, what made them to live with A1 when each of them have separate family has not been explained.” Sasikala has been married and has her own house Jayalalithaa has claimed that she kept mementos and other gifts at Sasikala’s house, “indicating that there was more than ordinary relationship” between Jayalalithaa and Sasikala. The fact that the three accused had acquired firms, and land tracts of land with the money provided by Jayalalithaa, indicated “all the accused congregated in the house of A1 not for social living nor A1 allowed them free accommodation out of humanitarian concern” but to launder Jayalalithaa’s “ill-gotten wealth” in order to acquire properties.
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