‘Error’ led to acquittal of Jayalalithaa, says Acharya

‘Disproportionate assets exceed income by 76%’.

Updated - November 28, 2021 09:54 pm IST

Published - May 13, 2015 03:04 am IST - Bengaluru:

A view of Karnataka High Court in Bangalore. File photo:  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

A view of Karnataka High Court in Bangalore. File photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

A “glaring arithmetical error” by the Karnataka High Court in computing the loans taken from banks by AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, her aides and their firms resulted in their acquittal, Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya said on Tuesday.

“We have to examine whether the High Court itself can correct this arithmetical error,” Mr. Acharya said. He believed correcting the error would boost the “disproportionate assets” component from a mere 8.12 per cent to a whopping 76.77 per cent.

The High Court had wrongly calculated the total amount of 10 loans taken by the accused and their firms from nationalised banks as Rs. 24.17 crore, though the actual sum was Rs. 10.67 crore. The court had included these loans in the income of the accused.

The error, he said, boosted their income by Rs. 18.17 crore. The court had deducted Rs. 5.99 crore, an amount accepted by the prosecution as known income, from the Rs. 24.17 crore. If the court had calculated the loan amount correctly, income would have risen by only Rs. 4.68 crore, Mr. Acharya said.

Therefore, the value of the “disproportionate assets” would have been Rs. 16.32 crore and not Rs. 2.82 crore, as concluded by the court. The total income would be Rs. 21.26 crore instead of Rs. 34.76 crore.The court had acquitted Ms. Jayalalithaa on the ground that the quantum was below 10 per cent of the total income, and this could be ignored as per a Supreme Court guideline.

The clinching argument

The value of disproportionate assets was Rs. 2.82 crore and this value was not enough to convict them on charges of corruption, said Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy in his verdict while disagreeing with the verdict of the Special Court, which had computed the value of DA at Rs. 53.6 crore.

AIADMK chief keeps her plans under wraps

In a statement, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the verdict gave her immense satisfaction and proved that she was innocent. She warned her political opponents to end their conspiracies against her and thanked the partymen and people who prayed for her. But she did not reveal any of her plans. > Read more

What the SPP said

“Counsel for the accused were allowed to make oral arguments for nearly two months, but no prosecutor authorised by Karnataka was present during such arguments,” B.V. Acharya said. > Read more


>Trial, errors and judgment - Sanjay Hegde After a long and convoluted progress through the courts, Ms. Jayalalithaa has finally been acquitted by the High Court. But this might not be the end of the morality play, with another appeal looking likely.

>Amma’s apogee moment - A.R. Venkatachalapathy History, the Marxist cliché goes, repeats itself twice — usually as a tragedy and then as a farce. But sometimes it repeats itself as a bigger tragedy. As the implications of the Karnataka High Court’s blanket acquittal of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa are thrashed threadbare, some crucial cultural questions remain to be explored.

>Where loyalty trumps all - Meera Srinivasan Loyalty, in a sense, has been the hallmark of Tamil Nadu politics. A person’s political commitment is primarily judged, in political circles, by her steely resolve to stick to a leader no matter what he or she is accused of. So what if critics label their leaders corrupt, authoritarian or power-hungry? “None like our leader,” they will vouch, with unmistakable earnestness.

How DA came to account for less than 10% of income

  • Vigilance probe’s findings: Construction costs: Rs.27,79,88, 945 Marriage expenses: Rs.6,25,04,222
  • High Court’s findings: Construction costs: Rs.5,10,54,060 Marriage expenses: Rs.28,68,000
  • Exaggerated value: Construction costs: Rs.2,69,34,885 Marriage expenses: Rs.6,16,36,222
  • Total assets: Vigilance estimate - Exaggerated value Rs. 37,59,02,466
  • Disproportionate assets: Total assets - Total income
  • Rs.37,59,02,466-Rs.34,76,65,654 = Rs.2,82,36,812
  • Rs.2,82,36,812 x 100/Rs.34,76,65,654=

The Hindu Editorial

  • > A sensational comeback It is an unusual feat for any politician in the country to regain her eligibility to hold the post after being unseated twice as Chief Minister.
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