The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Karnataka government and the Registrar General, Karnataka High Court, to file their response as to whether a decision on the administrative side of the High Court had been taken for extending the services of special Judge Balakrishna, who retired on September 30, so as to conclude the trial of the disproportionate assets case against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three others in a Bangalore court.

A Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and S.A. Bobde passed this order on a writ petition filed by Ms. Jayalalithaa, V.K. Sasikala, V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Elavarasi challenging the notification issued by the Karnataka government appointing G.B. Mudigoudar as the special judge to conduct the disproportionate assets cases against them from October 1.

On September 30, the Bench quashed the notification revoking the appointment of G.  Bhavani Singh as the special public prosecutor and had asked the High Court and the State government to consider extending the services of Mr. Balakrishna beyond September 30.

On Tuesday, the Bench, while exempting Ms. Jayalalithaa’s personal appearance in the trial court for today, adjourned the matter to enable Ms. Sasikala to file a better affidavit. However, senior counsel Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the petitioners, informed the court that since the three accused, including Ms. Sasikala, had gone to Bangalore to appear in the trial court, they could not file the affidavit.

Counsel Anita Shenoy, appearing for Karnataka and the High Court accepted notice on behalf of the respondents and said she would file a response to the writ petition on the limited question whether the direction on extension of services of Mr. Balakrishna had been considered.

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