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Court frames charges against Sasikala in 4 foreign exchange violation cases

A trial court in Chennai framed charges against VK Sasikala, a former confidant of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in four cases pertaining to violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).

india Updated: Jan 28, 2019 23:06 IST
MC Rajan
MC Rajan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
A trial court in Chennai framed charges against VK Sasikala, a former confidant of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in four cases pertaining to violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) registered by the Enforcement Directorate. (PTI )

A trial court in Chennai framed charges against VK Sasikala, a former confidant of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in four cases pertaining to violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) registered by the Enforcement Directorate.

The more-than-two-decade-old cases have returned to haunt Sasikala, who is now lodged in a Bengaluru prison in a disproportionate assets case, as the Madras high court has directed the court to complete trial in four months.

Apart from the case relating to the purchase of the sprawling 900-acre Kodanadu tea estate, other cases pertain to acquiring equipment and hiring of transponder facility for JJ TV, the earlier avatar of the present Jaya TV.

While Sasikala was the chairman-cum-director of JJ TV, her nephew Bhaskaran was the managing director. Both have been arraigned by the ED in these cases.

The charges were framed with Sasikala making her appearance through video conference from the Parapana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru.

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate S Malarmathy read out the charges to Sasikala, who denied all of them and contended that all the cases against her were foisted. She also sought the court’s sanction to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses.

The ACMM then framed the charges and posted the next hearing to February 18. Cross-examination of prosecution witnesses is expected to commence on that date.

Charges had been framed against Bhaskaran in July 2017. The ACMM issued a warrant for Sasikala’s appearance in person to complete the formalities for framing of charges. But she approached Madras high court challenging this, following which the high court ordered that charges to be framed through video-conference and stipulated that the trial too should be completed in four months.

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 23:06 IST

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