However, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said the sprawling house in the city tony Poes Garden, residence of the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, was the hub of conspiracy and the money flow from one account to another proved the existence of an “active conspiracy” to launder the then Chief Minister’s “ill-gotten wealth” to purchase properties in the names of the shell companies, the Supreme Court said.
The apex court said V K Sasikala and her two relatives - VN Sudhakaran, Jayalalithaa’s foster son, and Elavarasi, the widow of Sasikala’s elder brother, resided at Poes Garden with Jayalalithaa, “Without any blood relation between them”. They were “accommodated” there, not on humanitarian concern, butpursuant to the conspiracy hatched by them.
“The flow of money from one account to the other proves that there existed active conspiracy to launder the ill-gotten wealth of Jayalalithaa for purchasing properties in the names of the firms,” a bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said while convicting Sasikala and her relatives. “The joint residence of all the accused persons also could not be ignored as a factor contributing to the charge of conspiracy and abetment, when assessed together with the attendant facts and circumstances reinforcing the said imputations,” the bench said.
“The unimpeded, frequent and spontaneous inflow of funds from the account of Jayalalithaa to those of the other co-accused and the firms/companies involved, overwhelmingly demonstrate the collective culpable involvement of the respondents in the transactions in the face of their overall orientations so as to render the same to be masked banking exchanges though involving several accounts but mostly of the same bank. No other view is possible,” the apex court said. It said these companies were “operating” from Poes Garden and “It cannot be accepted that she (Jayalalithaa) was unaware of the same even though she feigned ignorance about the activities carried on by Sasikala and two others. They were residing with Jayalalithaa without any blood relation between them.”