A judicial enquiry has concluded that there is no material to suggest that former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa was involved in land grabbing in Siruthavur village, on the outskirts of Chennai.
The commission of inquiry also said her close aide Sasikala was "not directly involved", but said there was illegal purchase of land assigned to the landless poor and dalits. It also held Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi, both related to Sasikala, as beneficiaries of an ''illegal transfer of patta on a single day without any inquiry''.
It also held both ''guilty of manipulating the records'' to extricate themselves from the enquiry. ''As far as Sasikala is concerned, the assigned properties have not been acquired in her name and it is also not shown that she is the partner of Bharani resorts, which had acquired the assigned properties. However, she has not chosen to deal with the issue of involvement of her family members namely, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi.''
The commission, constituted to inquire into allegations of land grabbing in Siruthavur assigned to Adi Dravidars and the landless, has said that there was ''no grabbing of the lands from the assignees in view of the fact that they had sold the land after receiving a consideration. However, as the alienation was void, it is within the power of the government to resume the land''.
Soon after the DMK government was constituted the Communist Party of India (Marxist) submitted a memorandum to chief minister M Karunanidhi alleging that Jayalalithaa's bungalow stood on a property grabbed from lands assigned to Adi Dravidars. The government appointed retired judge K P Sivasubramaniam to conduct the enquiry. After several extensions, the commission submitted its report - after three years and seven months - which was tabled in the Assembly on Thursday.
In its two-volume report, the commission said the issue of the bungalow at Siruthavur and the alleged occupation of poromboke (government) land were within the scope of the inquiry. But in view of the stand of the contesting parties that they were prepared to face proceedings under the Land Encroachment Act and the government also agreeing to this, the commission took a decision to restrict its inquiry to the issue relating to the alleged usurpation of 53 acres of land assigned to the landless poor.