The prison complex at Parappana Agrahara, 25 km from Bengaluru city, turned into a fortress on Thursday as Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa appeared at a special court there to record her statement.
Citing security risk, Jayalalithaa had repeatedly applied for exemptions from personal appearance in the disproportionate assets case against her. She, however, had to appear in the court following a Supreme Court order to that effect.
Jayalalithaa has been charged with amassing Rs 66 crore during her earlier tenure, between 1991 and 1996. In 2003, the case was shifted from Chennai to Bangalore to ensure a free and fair trial.
The CM, who flew into the city on Thursday morning in a private chartered flight, recorded her written statement before special judge BM Mallikarjunaiah. She faced 379 questions and she answered them "precisely and properly", said B Kumar, her counsel. An equal number of questions will be posed to her on Friday, he said. The questions were based on the circumstances mentioned by the prosecution in statements of witnesses, Kumar told reporters.
Access to the special court was restricted in view of the chief minister's Z-plus security. Only 15 people were present in court, including the judge, the four accused - Jayalalithaa, her confidante Sasikala Natarajan, Sasikala's nephew Sudhakaran and her sister-in-law Ilavarasi - and counsel.
Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more persons were in effect within 500m of the jail complex. Nearly 1,500 police personnel, including a special team from Tamil Nadu, were guarding the jail.Watch video