Special Public Prosecutor in the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, G. Bhavani Singh, on Friday commenced his arguments while adhering to the deadline fixed by the Special Court here for starting the arguments.
After narrating the sequence of events in the case, Mr. Singh discontinued arguments citing personal reasons. He temporarily authorised M.S. Maradi, the government-appointed assistant advocate to him, to continue the arguments on his behalf.
However, counsel for Ms. Jayalalithaa and other accused opposed the SPP’s decision to authorise his assistant to continue the arguments while contending that as per a verdict of the Karnataka High Court it was only the SPP who should be representing the prosecution in this case. But Mr. Singh justified his action of temporarily authorising Mr. Maradi.
On hearing both sides, John Michael Cunha, judge of the Special Court, rejected the objection raised by the counsel for the accused. The court, while citing Section 2U of the Code of Criminal Procedure, said the assistant advocate was entitled to argue the case on behalf of the SPP.
Mr. Maradi submitted his arguments till around 4 p.m. in the presence of Mr. Singh. Further hearing is adjourned till March 24.
Meanwhile, the High Court on Friday dismissed Mr. Singh’s petition in which he had questioned the March 14 order of the Special Court imposing a fine Rs. 60,000 (which is the SPP’s fee for a day to argue the case) on him for not commencing final arguments and taking repeated adjournments since January 27.
He had cited health reasons for seeking adjournments.