The Supreme Court on Friday listed for final hearing in July a special leave petition filed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa challenging the Madras High Court judgment directing the Election Commission to register criminal cases against her for allegedly filing false affidavits during the 2001 Assembly polls when she filed four nominations.
A Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and S.K. Prasad posted the SLP for final hearing in July after hearing senior counsel U.U. Lalit, appearing for Ms. Jayalalithaa and senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina for C. Kuppusamy, former DMK MP, on whose petition the Madras High Court directed the Election Commission to register the cases.
Ms. Jayalalithaa had filed nominations in Andipatti, Krishnagiri, Bhuvanagiri and Pudukottai constituencies. All were rejected as she had been disqualified from contesting polls at that time following conviction in the TANSI land deal case.
Acting on a petition from C. Kuppusamy, the High Court in June 2007 directed the Election Commission to register cases against her in the magistrate courts concerned and these proceedings were stayed by the Supreme Court in July 2007.
The High Court had held that Ms. Jayalalithaa's declaration in the third (Bhuvanagiri) and fourth (Pudukottai) constituencies that she had not been nominated from more than two segments was “false to her own knowledge and amounts to violation of Section 33(7) (b) of the Representation of the People Act (under this provision a candidate cannot contest from more than two constituencies)”.
In her special leave petition assailing this judgment, she stated that the High Court had erroneously held that Mr. Kuppusami had the locus to file the petition.
The High Court failed to appreciate that there was no false declaration by her and as such Sec. 177 IPC was not attracted to warrant the impugned directions.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said that the High Court failed to appreciate that the complaint was in respect of the elections conducted in the year 2001 and more particularly all the nomination forms of the petitioner had been rejected.
She said the SLP raised important questions of law for consideration by the Supreme Court, viz. whether the impugned order was liable to be set aside for being contrary to the settled law that public interest litigation could be initiated only for espousing genuine causes affecting marginalised sections of the society and the court could not be used as a platform for settling political scores or to wreak personal vengeance?; Whether the finding of the High Court that the writ petitioner was a ‘party interested' and had the locus standi to invoke the jurisdiction of the court was contrary to the settled principles of law laid down by the Supreme Court.