Even as the Supreme Court reserved the verdict on Wednesday on the plea of V.K. Sasikala, close aide of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, seeking supply of certain documents in the “disproportionate assets case” pending in a Bangalore court, the Tamil Nadu government strongly opposed her plea.
A Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi reserved the verdict at the conclusion of arguments from senior counsel Shekar Naphade and senior counsel V. Giri for Ms. Sasikala, senior counsel Rakesh Diwedi for Tamil Nadu and senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina for DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan, who sought impleadment in the case.
The Bench was hearing a special leave petition filed by Ms. Sasikala, seeking certain documents to enable her to answer questions under Section 313 Cr.PC.
“No locus standi”
Mr. Naphade opposed the impleadment of Mr. Anbazhagan, saying Mr. Andhyarujina should not be heard. He argued that being a political rival, Mr. Anbazhagan had no locus standi when the prosecution was properly represented.
He said all documents that were seized by the prosecution, even if they did not form part of the charge sheet, should be supplied to the accused to ensure a fair trial. Mr. Giri endorsed Mr. Naphade’s argument, saying the documents sought were essential for the accused to answer Section 313 Cr.PC questions.
Mr. Diwedi said the question of supply of documents relied on by the prosecution would arise at the commencement of trial and not during the stage of Section 313 Cr.PC questioning. All documents relied on by the prosecution were supplied to her and in the last 13 years, at no point of time, she had ever sought them. “We are not relying on these documents sought by her neither for questioning nor for evidence.”
Mr. Diwedi said the first accused in the case, Ms. Jayalalithaa, had answered Section 313 questions without the help of these documents. Even Ms. Sasikala had answered over 500 questions and seeking additional documents that were not relied on would result in a roving enquiry. Applications were being filed from March to delay the trial. He sought dismissal of the appeal.
Mr. Andhyarujina said the applicant, at whose instance the trial was shifted to Bangalore, had the locus standi to implead in the case. The trial was being subverted by the accused ever since Ms. Jayalalithaa came to power and every attempt was being made to delay the trial. But for Mr. Anbazhagan’s intervention, the trial would have resulted in acquittal by now.
In his application, Mr. Anbazhagan said the proceedings in the trial court had reached the final stage. Ms. Sasikala’s claim for perusal of court records 15 years after the proceedings began would show that the prayer for inspection of records was totally frivolous and vexatious. Such an inspection and roving enquiry prayed for could not be granted in law.