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Karnataka government lists ‘errors’ in Jayalalithaa acquittal

Karnataka pointed out that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalalithaa’s acquittal in the disproportinate assets case can be set aside by just correcting a “totalling mistake”. File photo

Karnataka pointed out that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalalithaa’s acquittal in the disproportinate assets case can be set aside by just correcting a “totalling mistake”. File photo   | Photo Credit: M_PRABHU

Seven-page document lists 16 points of contention against the May 11, 2015 judgment of Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy which led to the exoneration of Ms. Jayalalithaa and three others.

With only a few days left for the final hearing on appeals against the acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to commence in the Supreme Court, the Karnataka government on Tuesday filed point-by-point highlights of the “errors” made by the Karnataka High Court in deciding the disproportionate assets case in favour of the AIADMK leader and three co-accused.

The seven-page document listed 16 points of contention against the May 11, 2015 >judgment of Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy which led to the exoneration of Ms. Jayalalithaa, N. Sasikala Natarajan, V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Elavarasi in the corruption case.

Principally, the State government asks whether the bare fact that it was neither considered nor ignored as the “sole prosecuting agency” in the corruption case would not by itself vitiate the High Court judgment.

The State wants the Supreme Court to address what would be the effect of not repairing this omission throughout the appeal hearings in the High Court till they were disposed of.

The State’s document, filed by advocate Joseph Aristotle and settled by senior advocate B.V. Acharya, asks whether the appeals were not vitiated as the duly appointed Public Prosecutor was “never given the opportunity” of an oral hearing.

His role was reduced to just handing over written submission, that too on the orders of the Supreme Court, at the fag end of the appeals in the High Court.

The State government pointed out that the acquittal can be set aside by just correcting the “totalling mistake” to show that the value of disproportionate assets of the accused comes to Rs. 16.32 crore, that is 76.7 per cent of the income, against the 8.12 per cent arrived at by the High Court.

“Consequently, the judgment of acquittal is liable to be converted into one of conviction even as per the purported principle in Krishnanand Agnihotri’s case,” the State government contended.

The 1977 case law, quoted by the High Court, had held that an offence was not made out if the value of disproportionate assets was found to be less than 10 per cent of the income.

It said the logic does not apply in this case in which the disproportionate assets run into crores.

A Bench of Justices P.C. Ghose and Amitava Roy have scheduled the >hearing on the appeals to start from February 2, 2016.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 9:05:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Karnataka-government-lists-%E2%80%98errors%E2%80%99-in-Jayalalithaa-acquittal/article14010085.ece

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