The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to defer hearing in the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three others in a Bangalore court till the claim petition of a Chennai-based company was decided.
The properties of Lex Property Development (P) Ltd. have been attached for allegedly being benami holdings of Ms. Jayalalithaa. On May 7, the Bangalore court rejected its petition for production of certain documents. While Lex filed an appeal against this order, Ms. Jayalalithaa and the others filed an application to defer the defence arguments scheduled to begin on May 19.
A vacation Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and A.K. Sikri dismissed the application filed by Ms. Jayalalithaa after senior counsel V. Giri submitted that the accused would move the Karnataka High Court for relief.
Earlier, Additional Solicitor-General Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the prosecution, strongly opposed granting any stay. Ranjit Kumar, senior counsel for Lex, submitted that the trial court had declined to permit production of certain documents which were part of the charge sheet as they were vital during the course of arguments.
Disposing of the application, the Bench said: “The prayer of the applicant was for production of additional documents. These documents are in another criminal court pending before the same judge. The grievance of the applicant is that the applicant is not the party in those proceedings and the court cannot rely upon these documents in the instant civil proceedings before it without confronting the applicant with these documents and giving it an opportunity to explain and rebut the same. Though from the nomenclature of the aforesaid documents, it appears that these documents are a certificate of incorporation, a memorandum of association and articles of association of a company, the name of the company to which these documents belong is not mentioned herein. Additional Solicitor-General Siddharth Luthra submits that he has no objection if the applicant is given an opportunity to rebut those documents before the trial court acts upon these documents.”