Charging the CBI with inordinate delay in its investigations into the 1996 'Birthday Gift Case' against her, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Tuesday filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking to quash the proceedings against her.
"Viewing from any angle, the case is liable to be quashed on the ground of inordinate and unexplained delay in completing the investigation," Jayalalithaa said in the petition.
She said the CBI, which had taken over the case from the Crime Branch-CID of Tamil Nadu police and registered the FIR for offences under sec 13(2) read with sec 13(1)(e) of Prevention of Corruption Act in July 1996, had filed the charge sheet before the Principal Judge for CBI cases 10 years later on July 31, 2006.
Stating that she was not responsible for the delay, she argued, "It is settled law that fair trial and speedy trial are guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. Speedy trial includes speedy investigation also."
The AIADMK chief contended that delay in investigation was one of the grounds listed in a petition filed by her seeking discharge from the case.
Jayalalithaa said in view of the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court in 'Abdul Rahman Anthulay and others versus RS Nayak and another', the relief of quashing the charge sheet on the file of the CBI court could be sought for only before the High Court on the ground of delay in investigations.
Besides Jayalalithaa, two former AIADMK ministers Alagu Thirunavukarasu and KA Shengottaiyan have been charged with abetting her.
Pointing out that her discharge petition before the CBI court was pending, Jayalalithaa also sought a stay of proceedings in the case against her pending disposal of her petition for quashing the proceedings.
Jayalalithaa has been charged under sec 11 of PCA, which prohibits receiving valuables from persons she had official dealings with.
According to the CBI, on the occasion of her birthday in 1992, Jayalalithaa, who was then Tamil Nadu chief minister, had accepted 89 demand drafts totalling Rs two crore from 57 persons drawn on various banks in the the state in her name.
The agency claimed that Shengottaiyan and Thirunavukarasu had presented Jayalalithaa DDs for Rs 22.53 lakh and Rs 22.50 lakh respectively.