Bengaluru, Feb 15: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a trial court order which had sentenced Jayalalithaa, Sasikala Natarajan and two others to four years imprisonment in the disproportionate assets case.
In the verdict which Justice P C Ghose had termed as a 'fatty judgment,' it is said that Poes Garden where the official residence of Jayalalithaa is, was a hub of conspiracy. The money flow from one account to another proved the existence of an active conspiracy to launder the Chief Minister's ill-gotten wealth, the judgment also read.
Jayalalithaa did not accommodate Sasikala out of some philanthropic urge but with cold-blooded calculation to keep herself secure from any legal complications, which may arise from their criminal activities. The four accused were hatching one criminal conspiracy after another at Poes Garden to launder ill-gotten wealth, the judgment also read.
The flow of money from one account to the other proves that there existed active conspiracy to launder the ill-gotten wealth of Jayalalithaa for purchasing properties in the name of the firms. The joint residence of all the accused persons also could not be ignored as a factor contributing to the charge of conspiracy and abetment, when assessed together with the attendant facts and circumstances reinforcing the said imputations, the SC also said.
Justice Ghose who wrote a major part of the judgment said that the unimpeded, frequent and spontaneous inflow of funds from the account of Jayalalithaa to those of the other co-accused and the firms/companies involved, overwhelmingly demonstrate the collective culpable involvement of the respondents in the transactions in the face of their overall orientations so as to render the same to be masked banking exchanges though involving several accounts but mostly of the same bank. No other view is possible.
These companies were operating from Poes Garden and it cannot be accepted that she (Jayalalithaa) was unaware of the same even though she feigned ignorance about the activities carried on by Sasikala and two others. They were residing with Jayalalithaa without any blood relation between them, the court further held.
The Bench also said that there was no use of Jayalalithaa pretending she was unaware of the activities of Sasikala and the two others in her own residence, Poes Garden. Jayalalithaa knew fully well that Sasikala would be dealing with her funds credited to her account in Jaya Publications.
The next proof of conspiracy was the speed and manner in which firms were created by the accused persons.
These shell entities were mere extensions of Namadhu MGR and Jaya Publications and they owed their existence to Jayalalithaa and Sasikala. All the business they did was buy property for less than the market value. Most of the sale deeds were executed by officials who came to the Poes Garden to register the properties, the Bench also held.