The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sassikala springs Tansi plot

New Delhi, Sept. 25: In a twist to the Tansi land scam case that had earlier unseated Jayalalithaa, her confidante Sassikala has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court offering to surrender the controversial plot to the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation Limited.

Sassikala — who now spells her name with “ss” — said she “believes that in view of the public writ petition, which challenges the purchase of the Tansi foundry property, the land should be surrendered to respondent No. 2 (Tansi Ltd)”.

In the affidavit, moved through advocate and ADMK Rajya Sabha member N. Jothi, Sassikala also says that “although the petition is confined to the Tansi foundry only”, she would surrender purchase of another land from the Tansi enamel wires.

The affidavit, obtained by The Telegraph, states that Sassikala wants to surrender the two pieces of land “without seeking the return” of the money she had paid to purchase the properties.

She also says that the “4th respondent (Sassikala) is taking immediate steps to surrender the properties in favour of the 2nd respondent”. The affidavit says this offer was made before Madras High Court, too. According to the document: “This is being done irrespective of the outcome one way or the other of any proceedings in this court or in the Supreme Court in respect of the purchase of these two properties”.

The charge in the Tansi case is that Jayalalithaa and Sassikala, as partners of Jaya Publications and Sasikala Enterprises, had purchased the prime property violating rules and the state government’s order that no public servant should purchase any government property. Further, particularly for the Tansi land, the condition was that only a person with experience in running an industry should purchase the land.

Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, the original complainant in the case, argued that Jayalalithaa or Sassikala had no experience, knowledge and background of running industries.

Second, Swamy argued, Jayalalithaa had denied having ever signed any partnership deal with Sassikala. This, he said, was illegal as under Section 19(2)(f) of the Partnership Act, if one partner did not sign the deal, then the partnership itself was illegal, null and void and deemed not to have been effected at all.

Earlier, Jayalalithaa’s counsel K.K. Venugopal had made the same offer as Sassikala. He contended that the Tamil Nadu chief minister was a public spirited person and if the court deemed that the purchase of the land was wrong, she was prepared to give it to any charity. However, this was an oral argument.

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