Asks special court to complete trial expeditiously
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa suffered a setback on Tuesday with the Supreme Court rejecting the Tamil Nadu government's appeal against the Karnataka High Court order refusing to entertain its plea for a further probe in the disproportionate assets case against her and four others pending before a special court in Bangalore.
A Bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Dipak Misra, dismissing two appeals filed by DVAC Superintendent of Police, said, “We are not inclined to interfere with the impugned order.”
The Bench asked the special court to complete the trial as expeditiously as possible, uninfluenced by the observations made by the High Court in the impugned order.
Special leave petitions were filed by the State against the orders of the Karnataka High Court quashing the decision of the DVAC to order a further probe in the wealth case.
The High Court had quashed the DVAC's communication for further probe dated June 15, 2011 on a petition filed by DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan challenging the communication.
Senior counsel Ashok Desai, appearing for the State said, “We wanted to conduct further investigation since certain defects and infirmities were noticed.” He cited various decisions and said the right of the Investigating Officer for further probe could not be interfered with.
Justice Dipak Misra told counsel, “You [police] have a right for further probe, but at what stage is the question. If it is an attempt to frustrate the trial, the whole trial will become a mockery.”
Senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi, who also appeared for the State, justified further probe.
Special Public Prosecutor and Karnataka Advocate General B.V. Acharya traced the genesis of the case and explained to the court how it was transferred from Chennai to Bangalore in 2004.
He said despite his best efforts the trial could not be concluded for the last eight years as application after application was being filed in the special court and the High Court and every attempt was being made to delay the process. He said in 2001 a similar attempt was made to order further investigation in the London hotel case and as a result the whole case was weakened.
The High Court pointed out this fact and had held that the intention to order further probe was not bona fide and had quashed the communication. He said the impugned order should not be interfered with.
Senior counsel T.R. Andhyarunjina, appearing for Mr. Anbazhagan, pointed out that in the meeting held on June 3, 2011 the decision for further probe was taken.
He said between May 16, 2011 and June 3, 2011 various officers were replaced and a new set of officers posted, and in the guise of reviewing various cases a decision was taken for further probe in this case.
“Bid to delay trial”
He said in this case the chargesheet was filed in June 1997 and since then various attempts were being made by Ms. Jayalalithaa to frustrate and delay the trial by all means. The intention of the government was not bona fide and if only Mr. Anbazhagan had not challenged the decision, the whole trial would have been vitiated, counsel said and sought dismissal of the appeals.