Congress was divided on challenging HC verdict

June 02, 2015 02:00 am | Updated April 03, 2016 01:47 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Congress had been divided on whether its State government in Karnataka should appeal in the Supreme Court against the acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case as it would have political implications in Tamil Nadu.

Indeed, the Karnataka Cabinet’s decision on Monday to go ahead with the appeal means that the Congress has closed the possibility of a Congress-AIADMK alliance in the southern State in the foreseeable future.

“The Karnataka government took the decision on the advice of the Advocate-General, but yes, there were differences in the party,” top Congress sources told The Hindu .

Tamil Nadu Congress chief E.V.K.S. Elangovan and Rajya Sabha member E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan opposed the move.

In Tamil Nadu, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram had backed Karnataka Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya’s advice to file an appeal against the acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case.

“I believe that Public Prosecutor Acharya and the Advocate-General of Karnataka have given strong written opinions that the judgment deserves to be appealed against. I have great respect for Mr. Acharya. I think he is right,” he had told PTI last Thursday.

However, asked about his views on the controversy surrounding the judgment acquitting Ms. Jayalalithaa, Mr. Chidambaram, an eminent lawyer himself, refused to comment saying he does not give his opinion on judgments “publicly.”

His comments followed Mr. Acharya and Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar advising the Karnataka government to file an appeal against the acquittal of Ms. Jayalalithaa.

However, the legal cell of the Karnataka Congress had advised the government against such a move, saying that Karnataka’s role was “administrative and not judicial” and the State was not an aggrieved party in respect of the High Court judgment acquitting Ms. Jayalalithaa and three others of all charges.

On Monday, in Bengaluru, Mr. Acharya, who was SPP in the case, told journalists that the Advocate-General and the Law Department had concurred with his view that it was a “fit case” for appeal and that he was “glad that the Cabinet has taken the decision on the basis of merit.”

Soon after the verdict was pronounced on May 11, Mr. Acharya had publicly said that there had been “glaring mathematical errors” regarding the disproportionate assets of Ms. Jayalalithaa and it was a “fit case” to file an appeal.

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