The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Karnataka government’s order asking Mr. Bhavani Singh not to appear as Special Public Prosecutor in the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three others in a Bangalore court. In view of the stay Mr. Singh will continue to appear as SPP in the case.
A Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and S.A. Bobde stayed the September 10 communication sent by the State to Mr. Singh, and issued notice to Karnataka government and DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan, who had been impleaded in this case filed by the four accused – Ms. Jayalalithaa, V.K. Sasikala, V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Elavarasi.
The Bench, after hearing senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi for the petitioners and senior counsel Vikas Jain for Mr. Anbazhagan, directed the matter to be listed for hearing after 10 days. The Bench made it clear that it was not expressing any opinion on the writ petition filed by Mr. Anbazhagan pending in the Karnataka High Court challenging the continuance of Mr. Bhavani Singh as the SPP. Mr. Rohatgi submitted that after the Supreme Court passed an order on September 6, the State by an order on September 10 revoked its earlier order removing Mr. Singh. This was followed by another order asking Mr. Singh not to appear, he said and added that the consequence of revoking the earlier order was that he could continue to appear.
Mr. Vikas Singh, however, voiced his apprehension that if Mr. Singh was allowed to appear he would rush through the proceedings and the judgment would be pronounced. The Bench, however, told the counsel that whatever he wanted to say he could say in his reply.
In the writ petition, Ms. Jayalalithaa and others said the direction of the State government to Mr. Singh not to appear was nothing but an interference in the administration of justice and would constitute a criminal contempt. What the State of Karnataka at the instance of rival political party DMK could not achieve directly was seeking to achieve indirectly that the case never attained finality, they said and sought a stay of the September 10 order.