# Karnataka cites arithmetic errors in High Court verdict

A file photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

One of the main grounds for the >acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three co-accused in the >disproportionate assets case cited by the >Karnataka High Court was that their >assets were less than 10 per cent (8.12 per cent) of the total income during the check period from 1991 to 1996.

The Karnataka government, however, has cited mathematical errors in the calculation and computed the value and percentage of the >disproportionate assets by taking into consideration the accused persons’ own admissions of their wealth.

The computation done by the Karnataka government, reproduced in the petition before the Supreme Court, has found that the total percentage of the disproportionate assets amounts to a whopping 168 per cent.

Here is how the Karnataka government calculated the disproportionate assets percentage.

The State government contended that if the “arithmetic error” of totalling in Page 852 of the HC judgment is alone corrected, the value of disproportionate assets becomes Rs. 16.32 crore (Rs. 2,82,36,812 + Rs.13,50,00,00) and the percentage of DA grows to 76.7 per cent.

Again, if the cost of construction of buildings is taken into consideration, as admitted by the accused, the total assets comes to Rs. 19.9 crore (Rs. 16,32,36,812 + 3,58,53,055). Now, the percentage of disproportionate assets rises to 93.6 per cent of the income.

The petition explained that the amount of Rs. 3.58 crore was arrived at by computing the difference between the admitted cost of construction as per the accused, which is Rs. 8.68 crore, and the cost of construction as fixed by the High Court at Rs. 5.1 crore.

To this, if the business income of Jaya Publication, as admitted by the accused persons, is added, the total disproportionate assets comes to Rs. 22.75 crore (Rs. 16,32,36,812 + 3,58,53,055 + Rs. 2,85,05,140). Now, the disproportionate assets rise to 123.5 per cent of the income, the petition said.

The petition pointed to page 913 of the High Court judgment, where the marriage expenses have been deducted without considering the total expenditure. If this error is rectified, it said, the total percentage of the disproportionate assets will go up to 168 per cent.

## 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 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= 8.12%

## The Hindu Editorial

• > A sensational comeback The Karnataka HC’s judgment absolving Ms. Jayalalithaa of the grave charge that she amassed wealth illegally is undoubtedly a resounding political victory for her.

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