In a sudden development, the Karnataka government has removed G. Bhavani Singh as Special Public Prosecutor in the Rs. 66.65-crore disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and others.
Interestingly, the notification, issued on Monday withdrawing his appointment, reached the Special Court, which is trying the case, when Mr. Singh was arguing the case on Tuesday morning. No reason is cited for his removal.
As the notification was received through the office of the registrar of the city civil and session court, Special Court Judge M.S. Balakrishna adjourned the hearing to September 2 since Mr. Singh could no more represent the prosecution.
Mr. Singh’s removal comes within four days of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary K. Anbazhagan moving the Karnataka High Court against his appointment, alleging serious lapses on his part in the trial. Mr. Anbazhagan said Mr. Singh “strangely” failed to oppose marking of the photocopies of some documents by the defence; allowed Deputy Superintendent of Police Sambandam, who is the investigating officer (in charge) of the case, to be examined as a defence witness; and to mark documents in favour of the accused persons.
On Monday, the High Court ordered notice to the State government on his petition. The petition will come up for hearing on Wednesday, along with applications filed by Ms. Jayalalithaa and others for permission to implead themselves in it.
‘Charges mala fide’
When contacted, Mr. Singh said he had “no comment,” but said: “Allegations against him in the petition were made with a mala fide intention.”
The State government had appointed Mr. Singh to the post on February 2 this year, in consultation with the then acting Chief Justice, K. Sreedhar Rao.
Senior counsel B.V. Acharya, who held the post between 2004 and January 2013, resigned on August 13, 2012, saying “he had suffered untold hardship and embarrassment at the instance of interested parties, who, having failed to achieve the objective by inducements and threats, initiated several proceedings to get rid of him from the post.”