Karnataka prison official submits Jayalalithaa's signature, fingerprints to Madras HC in sealed cover

Ahmedabad: A Karnataka prison official on Friday submitted to Madras High Court in a sealed cover a register containing the signature of Jayalalithaa and soft copy of her fingerprints taken when she was lodged in a Bengaluru jail.

Justice P Velmurugan, before whom the cover was submitted as per his direction on an election petition, adjourned the matter to 15 December after the court was informed that the Supreme Court on Friday stayed his order.

The Judge had on 24 November directed jail authorities and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to submit the fingerprint details by Friday while hearing a petition by P Saravanan, DMK candidate for the November 2016 Thirupparankundram Assembly bypoll, challenging the election of AIADMK's AK Bose.

Saravanan had alleged, in an affidavit, that thumb impression of Jayalalithaa in the election forms authorising Bose's candidature was obtained without her consent while she was unconscious at a hospital.

File image of J Jayalalithaa. PTI

File image of J Jayalalithaa. PTI

When the matter came up on Friday, jailor of the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru Mohana Kumar produced in a sealed cover the prison register which contained the signature of Jayalalithaa.

It also contained the soft copy of Jayalalithaa's thumb impression obtained through the e-prison electronic device when she was lodged in the prison following her conviction by the trial court in the Rs 65.66 crore disproportionate assets case in September, 2014, the jailor submitted. The former AIADMK supremo had died on 5 December last year.

Kumar informed the court that normally literate convicts affix their signature in the prison register and only the illiterate puts their thumb impression. However, all the convicts' thumb impression would be recorded in the e-prison electronic device, he added.

When the judge asked him whether the soft copy was certified as per section 65 B of the Evidence Act granting authenticity to it, the jailor said he would get the certificate.

Counsel for UIDAI Deputy Director General YLP Rao, who was also present in the court, informed the court that there was a bar under Section 29 of the Aadhaar Act from disclosing bio-metric details or information about the Aadhaar card holders.

Responding to a question by the judge, he said Jayalalithaa had got her Aadhaar card and sought time to file an affidavit explaining the difficulties in producing the thumb impression.

At this stage, counsel for Bose informed the judge that on a special leave petition by his client the Supreme Court has stayed the proceedings related to production of Jayalalithaa's thumb impression.

Recording the production of documents, the judge then posted the matter to 15 December.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud of the apex court stayed the high court order. It also issued notice to Saravanan and asked him to file a reply within eight weeks.

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Updated Date: Dec 08, 2017 20:52:14 IST

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