AIADMK banking on early hearing

October 18, 2014 03:47 am | Updated November 28, 2021 07:39 am IST - CHENNAI

The outcome of the proceedings in the Supreme Court on Friday has opened up an opportunity for former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to address swiftly the issue of her disqualification from the legislature, following her conviction in the disproportionate assets case.

While granting her bail and suspending her four-year prison sentence, the Court has indicated that it does not want the appeal to drag on for years.

When the long delay during the trial came up in Friday’s proceedings in the form of oral criticism from the Chief Justice of India, senior advocate Fali S. Nariman, representing Ms. Jayalalithaa, quickly assured the court that there would be no attempt to delay the appeal process. The Court then asked Mr. Nariman to prepare the appeal papers by December 18, and indicated that at that stage, it would ask the Karnataka High Court to hear the appeal in three months.

An AIADMK leader, on condition of anonymity, said that in normal circumstances, an appeal of this nature would take at least a year to complete. “It is a very positive order for us that the Supreme Court has said it will tell the High Court to hear the appeal in three months,” the leader said.

The leader pointed out that since there was no stay on the conviction, the only way to negate the disqualification from contesting elections would be to win the appeal. Given that Assembly elections are due in 2016, a speedy hearing of Ms. Jayalalithaa’s appeal would certainly be helpful for the AIADMK.

“We are all hoping that she will be acquitted swiftly and be able to contest the 2016 polls as chief ministerial candidate,” the leader said.

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