HC convicts Dinakaran kin Baskeeran in wealth case

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Chennai, Aug 26 (UNI) A special court trying CBI cases, today convicted and awarded five-year rigorous imprisonment to S R Baskeeran, a former employee of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and his wife, kin of AIADMK MP T T V Dinakaran, in a disproportionate wealth case.

CBI court special judge Nagamuthu, who sentenced Baskeeran and slapped a fine of Rs 20 lakh, also sentenced his wife Kalavathi to three years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh. She is the sister of Mr Dinakaran, Rajya Sabha member of AIADMK.

The judge, however, suspended the sentence in case of Kalavathy and granted her temporary bail as the sentence period has not exceeded three years.

While Kalavathy has to move the High court and secure regular bail within a month, Baskeeran, who was now on bail, arrested and taken to the prison.

Rejecting the defence submissions that Baskeeran's father was a businessman and he had earned the wealth while being in a joint family, the judge said the CBI has well proved the case that Baskeeran, as an employee of RBI, could not have amassed wealth to the tune of Rs two crore.

The wealth was clearly disproportionate to his known sources of income. His wife has played the role of an abetter and helped her husband in amassing the wealth, the judge said.

The CBI case was that Baskeeran, with the help of his wife, had amassed wealth to the tune of about Rs two crore, disproportionate to his known sources of income during 1988-97. The CBI had filed the chargesheet in the case in 1999 and the court has given its verdict after a gap of about nine years.

Baskeeran was one of the accused in the colour television distribution scam, in which former AIADMK miniser T M Selvaganapathy was the main accused.

Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her friend Sasikala were also cited as accused in the case, but the special court, while convicting Mr Selvaganapathy and others, acquitted Ms Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and Baskeeran.

The Tamil Nadu government has filed an appeal against their acquittal and the same was pending before the Madras High court.

UNI XR/WS VV RSA SSC1358

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