Madras High Court today quashed all proceedings against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the Rs 2 crore birthday gift case,holding her constitutional right to a speedy trial stood “flagrantly violated” with a delay of more than a decade to complete investigation by CBI.
In his order,Justice K N Basha said,”There was absolutely no explanation whatsoever for such an inordinate delay of more than a decade for completing the investigation and filing the final report.”
“The FIR was not registered based on any complaint by any aggrieved person or from any source of information. Therefore,it was crystal clear that she had not suppressed any material factor,” Basha said.
Not buying the CBI’s explanation that the probe was to be conducted in USA,UK and UAE,which led to delay,he said “he was unable to accept such a strange and curious explanation.”
The judge said the petitioner’s constitutional right to a speedy trial stood “flagrantly violated.”
He also said “the entire allegations against Jayalalithaa were founded on the basis of her voluntary disclosure in respect of gifts,including DDs and cash received by her on her birthday in 1992 in her income tax returns and also the receipt of a foreign DD of USD dollar three lakh.
Proceedings against her partymen K A Sengottaiyan and Azhagu Thirunavukkarasu,who were also cited as accused for abetment,were also quashed.
According to CBI,the AIADMK general secretary had accepted demand drafts worth Rs 1.48 crore on her birthday.
Jayalalithaa had moved the Court,seeking quashing of proceedings on grounds of delay in registering the FIR and the filing of the chargesheet.
The FIR registered in 1996 had said Jayalalithaa received 89 DDs from 57 persons,including a foreign DD for USD three lakhs. But ultimately at the time of filing the chargesheet,CBI said it was only 21 persons and the value was only Rs 1.48 crore.