SC refuses to stay Jayalalithaa's acquittal

The appeal came up for admission before a two-member bench comprising Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice R.K. Agrawal on Monday.

July 27, 2015 11:22 am | Updated November 28, 2021 07:40 am IST - New Delhi

A file photo of J. Jayalalithaa.

A file photo of J. Jayalalithaa.

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the Karnataka HC acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case.

A Bench comprising Justice P.C. Ghose and Justice R.K. Agrawal issued notices to Ms. Jayalalithaa, her close aide N. Sasikala, V.N. Sudhakaran, J. Elavarasi.

Karnataka Government, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader K. Anbazhagan and on the intervention application filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy, had sought stay on the acquittal.

The Apex Court also issued notice to a separate petition filed by Mr. Anbazhagan challenging the Karnataka HC stay order setting aside confiscation of properties of the accused in the name of Indo-Doha Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd., Signora Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., Ramraj Agro Mills Ltd., Meadow Agro Farms, Riverway Agro Products.

The Karnataka Government was represented by Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya, Mr. Anbazhagan was represented by senior advocate T.R. Andhyarujina, Supreme Court advocate V.G. Pragasam. Ms. Jayalalithaa was represented by L. Nageshwar Rao. The six firms involved in the case were represented by C.A. Sundaram.

During the hearing Justice Ghose said at one point that the Bench had gone through all the documents and were issuing the notice. When Mr. Acharya asked for a conditional order of stay, Justice Ghose said, “It may be a very important matter for you, but for us, this is nothing, we will decide as per law.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Sundaram objected to notice being issued to Mr. Anbazhagan’s challenge on the stay order by the Karnataka HC on the confiscation of the properties of the companies involved. Mr. Sundaram questioned the locus standi of Mr. Anbazhagan, saying, that neither the State of Karnataka nor the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) had challenged the Karnataka HC order. But Justice Ghose said, “We will first look into the maintainability of Anbazhagan’s petition.” Meanwhile, Mr. Rao assured the court that they will not “deal” with the properties.

The case so far:

Jaya's Resurrection

In a major victory for AIADMK, a special bench of the Karnataka High Court set aside the trial court order convicting former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case.

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

Comment

>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 account for less than 10% of total 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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