Trial in disproportionate assets case will not resume until Tamil Nadu goes to polls on April 24

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the special judge of a Bangalore civil court, hearing the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three others, to keep the proceedings in abeyance for three weeks. This means that the trial will not resume until the State goes to the polls on April 24.

A Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and J. Chelameswar passed this interim order on a special leave petition (SLP) filed by Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Bhavani Singh, seeking a stay on medical grounds to undergo treatment for various ailments.

The SPP filed the SLP against an order passed by the Karnataka High Court, declining to interfere with the trial court’s order imposing an exemplary cost of Rs. 65,000, equivalent to a day’s remuneration, for seeking time to make his submissions.

The Bench, after hearing Mr. Bhavani Singh’s counsel Nagendra Rai, issued notice to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption returnable in three weeks. The Bench made it clear to the SPP that he should not seek further adjournment on health grounds.

“If your health is bad, give way to others. Why should you delay the trial? If he [the SPP] is not in a position to continue on health grounds, he should make a proper application before the High Court asking it to appoint a new SPP,” Justice Chelameswar said.

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