The Special Court trying the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday rejected all applications filed by the accused questioning the process of appointment of judge to the Special Court, seeking reference of their applications to the High Court of Karnataka, and plea for keeping the proceedings in abeyance till the High Court decided their pleas.
B.M. Mallikarjunaiah, Judge, 36th Additional City Civil and Sessions Court and the Special Court for the disproportionate assets case, in his order said that “there are no substantial grounds in the contention by counsel for the petitioners (accused) on jurisdiction to try the case.”
“Hence, there is no need to either desist from proceedings or to keep in abeyance further proceedings,” he said.
Ms. Jayalalithaa and other accused had contended that the appointment of the judge (Mr. Mallikarjunaiah) was not done by issuing a gazette notification by the State government as per the Prevention of Corruption Act. While claiming that the High Court had no authority to post the judge to the Special Court by way of transfer of judges of the subordinate courts, they contended that Mr. Mallikarjunaiah should not hear their petitions but has to refer them to the High Court keeping the proceedings in abeyance.
Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya had contended that the pleas of the accused were baseless and vexatious, and were filed only to protract the proceedings. Mr. Acharya had clarified that the State Government constituted the Special Court in 2003 following the direction of the Supreme Court and any judge posted to that Special Court would automatically assume the post of Special Judge.
Mr. Mallikarjunaiah said that the accused had not taken the contention about process of his appointment till June 2012, though he took over as the judge of the Special Court on August 4, 2009 following his transfer from the Fast Track Court to the Special Court by the High Court. Moreover, the judge said, notifications issued on posting the judge to the Special Court by way of transfer are within the meaning of Section 3 of the Act. The judge said he would resume the process of recording the statement of V.K. Sasikala, an accused, on July 24.