When Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy delivers his judgment on the appeals filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three others against their conviction in a disproportionate assets case on Monday, it is pertinent that the verdict satisfies the high standards of judicial accountability and objectivity set for the judge personally by the Supreme Court.
On April 27, 2015, a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Dipak Misra flayed the appearance of Public Prosecutor G. Bhavani Singh in appeals pending before Justice Kumaraswamy at the Karnataka High Court as “bad in law.”
But Justice Misra, writing the judgment on a petition filed by DMK leader K. Anbazhagan, did not order a fresh hearing of the appeals. Instead, the apex court sought to bank on Justice Kumaraswamy’s prowess as a High Court judge to administer justice in a corruption case.
It is this April 27 judgment that cleared the path for Justice Kumaraswamy to deliver his verdict in the appeals on May 11 — a day before the SC deadline ends.
Justice Misra, speaking through his judgment on April 27, conveyed to Justice Kumaraswamy how “the duty of the judge is to consider the evidence objectively and dispassionately.”
Justice Misra quoted two apex court verdicts on corruption by public servants — Niranjan Hemchandra Sashittal versus State of Maharashtra and Dr. Subramanian Swamy versus Union of India — to emphasise that “corruption is an enemy of the nation and tracking down corrupt public servants and punishing such persons is a necessary mandate of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988”.