Final hearing in false affidavits case posted to August

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J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday posted for final hearing in August a special leave petition filed by AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa against a judgment of the Madras High Court directing the Election Commission to register cases against her for filing false affidavits during the 2001 Assembly polls when she filed four nominations.

The Supreme Court in July 2007 had ordered status quo in two cases filed by the Commission against Ms. Jayalalithaa for filing false affidavits when she filed four nominations in Andipatti, Krishnagiri, Bhuvanagiri and Pudukottai.

During the resumed hearing on Friday, a Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice V. S. Sirpurkar directed that the matter be listed for final hearing in August after it was submitted that pleadings had been completed by all the parties.

Ms. Jayalalithaa in her SLP maintained that she had not committed any electoral offence as all her nominations were rejected.

She said the Returning Officers of Bhuvanagiri and Pudukkottai (third and fourth constituencies respectively) had passed reasoned orders holding that she had not suppressed any information as the declarations filed earlier in Andipatti and Krishnagiri had been made available to them. These two orders had not been challenged.

It could not be said that no action was taken by the Election Commission as the Returning Officers had applied their mind and passed orders.

She said that C. Kuppusamy, DMK Member of Parliament, who filed the public interest litigation petition, was a political adversary and the High Court ought not have entertained the petition.

It failed to appreciate that there had been no false declaration by the petitioner, and, as such, Section 177 IPC was not attracted to warrant the impugned directions.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said that the High Court, while allowing the writ petition, had virtually directed the trial court to take cognisance of the offence and condone the delay.

The High Court failed to appreciate that the complaint was in respect of the elections conducted in 2001 and, more particularly, all the nomination forms of the petitioner had been rejected.

The SLP raised important questions of law for consideration, she said and sought quashing of the impugned judgment.




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