SPIC deal case: Madras HC closes appeals filed by Jaya

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Chennai, Jan 11 (UNI) Madras High Court today closed the writ appeals filed by former Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa and others in the SPIC share deal case, involving Rs 28.29 crore.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and S R Singaravelu, treated the writ appeals preferred by Ms Jayalalithaa and others as closed after declaring that they have become infructuous.

Others who got reprieve in the case were former Industries Secretary C Rmachandran and the then SPIC Chairman A C Muthiah.

As Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy, who filed the initial writ petition against Ms Jayalalithaa and others in the case, failed to appear before the Bench in the appeal and the trial court acquitted the appellants in the case filed by the CBI, the Bench said ''we close all these writ petitions as they have become infructuous.'' The Bench pointed out that both the counsel appearing for Ms Jayalalithaa and the Additional Advocate General filed separate memos that the former chief minister and others were acquitted by the trial court and the CBI also did not prefer any appeal against the trial court order.

On the petition filed by Dr Swamy in 1995, when Ms Jayalalithaa was Chief Minister, a single judge had in December 1997 issued two orders, one directing Ms Jayalalithaa and others to pay a compensation of Rs 28.29 crore to the Government because of their ''collusive deal'' in the SPIC matter and the other directing the CBI to register a criminal case.

Following the order, the CBI had registered a case and filed the chargesheet before a special court. The special court, however, had acquitted all the three in the case in January 2004 and held that there was no loss to the Government by not purchasing SPIC's newly floated shares.

The trial court order had become final since no appeal had been preferred by the CBI. The Additional Advocate General also said there was no question of reviving the sick company (SPIC), the Bench said, adding that ''therefore the first direction of the single judge with regard to the payment of compensation of Rs 28.29 crore cannot be complied.'' UNI XR-WS GD SB AS2153

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