Former Jayalalitha lawyer could be joining DMK

March 17th, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by admin  


Chennai, March 17 (IANS) AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha Monday asked her party legislators not to associate with Rajya Sabha member N. Jothi, whose term ends this month, sparking speculation that he may be joining the ruling DMK. Jayalalitha’s statement, addressed to her party workers, comes after she denied Jothi another term in the Upper House of parliament, and instead nominated N. Balaganga.

Jothi, a leading advocate, shot to prominence as Jayalalitha’s counsel for the innumerable corruption cases filed against her by the DMK regime in 1996-2001.In many cases, she was acquitted and in many others there was not sufficient evidence to nail her.

Jothi is said to be close to DMK leader Arcot N. Veerasamy and his family.He joined the AIADMK in 1996 and was appointed secretary of its advocates’ wing. He rose in the party rank and the AIADMK chief nominated him to the Rajya Sabha in 2002.

In recent years, Jothi has been embroiled in several controversies.

The crime branch of the state police is investigating a charge against Jothi of “causing losses to the government by flying to New Delhi on nine occasions to attend the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal proceedings in 2003, though he was not the government counsel at the time”.

He is also accused of staying at the Tamil Nadu House in New Delhi and not paying lodging and boarding charges, transport and telephone bills, totalling a few millions of rupees.

Jayalalitha has accused Jothi of “unethical professional practice”, saying his decision to withdraw from AIADMK 113 cases, against her as well as others from the party, was condemnable.

Jayalalitha’s statement pointed out that Jothi walked out of the Supreme Court while appearing for her in a case March 12 when the AIADMK announced N. Balaganga’s name for Rajya Sabha membership.

Returning to Chennai, Jothi resigned from primary membership of the party, fuelling speculation that he was joining the DMK.

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