Chennai, March 4 (IANS) The future of actor-politician Jayaprada as a MP is in jeopardy as a result of legal hassles over properties she owns here.
Hearings in Madras High Monday have brought to light the fact that the Samajwadi Party MP had been legally in a state of insolvency since September 2006.
Article 102-(1)(c) in the Indian constitution says an Indian citizen cannot be a member of parliament or state legislature if he or she is insolvent.
A court assignee, a judicial officer, told the Chennai Corporation Monday, while seeking taxes on her assets in Chennai, that Jayaprada's property could be disposed off only by him.
The actor-turned politician has two cinema halls in Chennai, together valued at over Rs.50 crore.
Jayaprada, along with her brothers Rajbabu and Sriram Kumar, is a partner in Jayaprada and Raj Theatres on General Patters Road, off Mount Road, in the heart of the city.
In February this year, the Chennai Corporation claimed that Jayaprada had failed to pay property taxes worth Rs.2 million on these two properties. It sought to recover the tax from the sale of property.
The corporation confiscated film rolls and projectors, and no show could be run in the two theatres. The corporation said two cheques from Jayaprada had also bounced.
The corporation obtained an order of adjudication and filed for seizing the property.
Jayaprada's brother first went to a civil court and then to high court to stop the tax recovery proceedings.
When the case came up for hearing, the Madras high court Monday told the Chennai Corporation that Jayaprada had been declared 'insolvent' in September 2006, after creditors complained.
The right to dispose of her property lay with the court assignee, and that the corporation would have to apply to S. Sitrarasu, to claim the tax due to it.
The court disclosure now puts Jayaprada's future as MP in doubt. There is a precedent to this in Tamil Nadu.
In 1985-86, Vennira Aadai Nirmala, an M.G. Ramachandran supporter, was declared insolvent. Nirmala and actor turned politician J. Jayalalitha were both debut actors in the Tamil film 'Vennira Aadai'.
When MGR wanted Nirmala to be a member of the legislative council of Tamil Nadu, he could not make her a member because a court had declared her insolvent.
So angry was MGR that his AIADMK later abolished the legislative council.