On a day when Supreme Court rejected Jayalalithaa's plea for exemption from personal appearance before a court in Bangalore in a wealth case, she declared her assets inside the Tamil Nadu assembly, though only to satisfy the curiosity of a member.
"While filing my nomination for the Assembly elections I had in April declared all my assets which were a total of Rs 51.40 crores. After this I have not acquired any property," she said in reply to a question posed by Republican Party of India MLA CK Thamilarsan.
Thamilarasan, who had contested as part of the AIADMK alliance, cited a newspaper report on declaration of assets by union ministers and wondered whether Jayalalithaa, "who answered only to her conscience', would follow suit. The media reports had suggested that the chief minister had not declared her assets.
Ridiculing the media reports, the chief minister said "there was nothing new in it as I had already declared my assets while contesting the assembly elections as per the Election Commission rules and this had been reported widely in the media."
In an affidavit filed with the Election Commission along with nomination papers for contesting assembly polls from Srirangam constituency, Jayalalithaa declared her assets that include Rs 13.03 crore in movable assets and Rs 38.37 rore in immovable assets comprising 14.5 acres of grapeyards in Andhra Pradesh and Rs one crore in a tea estate in Kodanad in Nilgiris district.
"After assuming charge as the chief minister, I have not bought any property," she declared.
In the Supreme Court, Jayalalithaa lost a legal tussle when the apex court rejected her plea for allowing video conferencing with an observation that it seemed like a move to delay proceedings and gave her counsel, Harish Salve, a week's time to inform the court of a date suitable to hold proceedings in the Bangalore court.
"If you want we can direct the trial court to provide you with adequate security and allow the proceedings on the day of your choice," the bench told Salve.
The wealth case against Jayalalithaa dates back to 1997 and was shifted out of Tamil Nadu after DMK apprehended that the trial would proceed fairly in the state after she came back to power in 2001. Allegations are that Jayalalithaa had acquired assets disproportionate to her known sources of income - with Jayalalithaa, her friend Sasikala and three of her relatives accumulating assets totaling Rs 62 crore between 1991 and 1996.