J. Venkatesan

Jayalalithaa justifies special court decision

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday posted for hearing after seven weeks, petitions filed by DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan, opposing the clubbing of two disproportionate assets cases against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and four others, by a special court in Bangalore.

Finding that V.N. Sudhakaran had not filed his response, a Bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice P.P. Naolekar granted four weeks for filing his reply, and three weeks for filing a rejoinder, and directed listing of the matter thereafter. The other accused in the case, Ms. Jayalalithaa and her close aide Sasikala, Ialavarasi and T.T.V. Dinakaran had filed their replies.

Acting on a petition from Mr. Anbazhagan, the apex court in August 2005 had stayed the operation of an order passed by the Bangalore special court clubbing the disproportionate assets and London Hotel cases against Ms. Jayalalithaa and others.

Clubbing of cases

Ms. Jayalalithaa in her counter justified the clubbing of the two disproportionate assets cases against her and four others by a special court in Bangalore for conducting the trial.

She said the special court gave a direction to merge the cases for joint trial, after holding that the filing of the charge sheet was done in contravention of the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“Oblique motives”

She said the petition by Mr. Anbazhagan was actuated by oblique motives/mala fides and political vendetta. The special court had passed the order for joint trial since it found that the check period of the two cases was the same and that both raised common questions arising out of the same transaction. The apex court should not entertain a petition at the instance of a political opponent who, she alleged, was seeking to meddle with the proceedings at every stage.