Staff Reporter

The Supreme Court has stayed all further proceedings in the case

Both prosecution and defence cite Supreme Court stay Presiding officer of another Special Court likely to take over as the Special Judge in-charge of the case

BANGALORE: The hearing in the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and four others has been adjourned to February 25. D. Krishnappa, in-charge judge, adjourned the hearing in the case on Saturday after the prosecution and the defence said that the Supreme Court had stayed all further proceedings in the case and the matter was yet to be heard by the apex court.

While the Special Public Prosecutor, B.V. Acharya, wanted the case listed for the month-end or February, Mr. Jenasena who is appearing for T.T.V. Dinakaran, one of the accused, sought a longer adjournment. He urged the court to post the case to March as the Supreme Court was yet to hear the case and notice was yet to be served on some of the parties.

Mr. Justice Krishnappa adjourned the case to February 25 after the accused filed applications through their counsel seeking exemption from personal appearance.

Mr. Justice Krishnappa is the second judge in Karnataka to preside over the hearing in the assets case after the trial was transferred to Bangalore from Chennai. The first judge to preside over the proceedings, A.S. Pachhapure, was last week transferred as the Registrar-General of the Karnataka High Court. Mr. Justice Krishnappa heard the case as Mr. Pachhapure had handed over charge to him.

The presiding officer of another Special Court, A.T. Munnoli, is likely to take over shortly as the Special Judge in-charge of the assets case.

This was the first time when the hearing in the case was held in a court hall other than the designated 37th court on the first floor of the District and Sessions Court complex. Ever since the first hearing in the case commenced on February 25, 2005, the proceedings were always held in the designated court hall.

Till the Supreme Court stayed all further proceedings in the case, Mr. Pachhapure presided over 33 sittings and all of them were in court hall no. 37. This court had been provided special security in view of the sensitivity of the case and the publicity it had generated.

Even on Saturday there were a couple of policemen guarding the court, when there was no case posted before it. But unlike earlier times when policemen questioned people entering the court, this time they said the case was being heard by another judge.

Interestingly, the case was called in court hall No. 17 (of Mr. Krishnappa) and the First Division Assistant (FDA), Picchu Muthu, who is specially posted to the Special Court, called out the case and announced the date of adjournment. Soon after the case was adjourned, the regular court officer took charge and Mr. Krishnappa took up regular matters posted before him.

With Mr. Pachhapure's transfer, all cases of reconciliation and pre-trial reconciliation assigned to the court have been withdrawn.