In-Depth

The case of the Special Public Prosecutor

BANGALORE - 27.09.2014 : Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh speaking to media, outside the Special Court, after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa jailed, when appeared before the Special Court for being present during the pronoucement of verdict in the Rs. 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case against her, in Bangalore on September 27, 2014. Photo: K. Murali Kumar.gathered at Parappana Agrahara Junction on Hosur road, during Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa arriving in the convoy to appear before the Special Court for being present during the pronoucement of verdict in the Rs. 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case against her, in Bangalore on September 27, 2014. Photo: K. Murali Kumar.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

The Supreme Court struck down the appointment of Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh and declared that the interference of the Tamil Nadu government in his appointment was a manifestation of the government's "anxiety" about the future.

The role of the SPP has taken many twists and turns in this case.



>The controversy

The Karnataka government appointed senior lawyer Bhavani Singh in February 2013 as the Special Public Prosecutor replacing B.V.Acharya, who cited suffering at the hands of ‘interested parties’. The appointment of the SPP was challenged by DMK leader K.Anbazhagan on the grounds that the accused was in collusion with the Special Public Prosecutor.

The Karnataka HC had rejected the plea after which the DMK general secretary challenged the Supreme Court over the appointment. Former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa argued that the Mr. Anbazhagan’s plea was not ‘genuine’.

The curious case of the SPP

  • 1996: Former Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy files case alleging Jayalalithaa amassed properties disproportionate to her known sources of income
  • November, 2003: Case shifted to Karnataka High Court after DMK cries foul about fairness of trial in Tamil Nadu.
  • February, 2005: Karnataka appoints the former Advocate-General B.V. Acharya as Special Public Prosecutor.
  • February, 2012: B.V. Acharya expresses inability to continue as SPP, citing pressure from BJP for holding the post of AG (since past 6 months) >read more
  • August 15, 2012: B.V. Acharya quits as SPP after Karnataka accepts his resignation. >read more
  • February 3, 2013: G. Bhavani Singh appointed as SPP as Acharya quits, citing mental agony over Lokayukta order to probe him. >read more
  • August 26, 2013: Karnataka issues notification, citing no reasons, withdrawing Bhavani Singh’s appointment as SPP. Singh moves Supreme Court against the withdrawal. >read more
  • September 30, 2013: SC quashes Karnataka’s notification, reinstates Singh.
  • February 28, 2014: Apex court judge dismisses SPP plea to present seized silver articles of Jayalalithaa’s.
  • February 26, 2015: DMK leader K. Anbazhagan moves for Singh’s removal, saying issue of his continuation is still pending. >read more
  • April 27, 2015: Supreme Court strikes down Singh’s appointment as SPP. >read more
  • April 28, 2015: B.V. Acharya back as SPP. >read more

>Anbazhagan seeks confirming of sentence

In line with a direction of the Supreme Court, DMK general secretary K.Anbazhagan filed his written submission with the Karnataka High Court that prayed for confirming the sentence and fine imposed on Ms. Jayalalithaa and three others in the case.

>Yet another twist

Editorial: The legal position was always clear - that once a case is transferred from one State to another, the transferee State alone is competent to appoint the prosecutor.

>Jayalalithaa defends Bhavani Singh’s continuance as SPP

Ms. Jayalalithaa argued that Mr. Anbazhagan’s petition to remove Bhavani Singh as Special Public Prosecutor in the appeal is not a "genuine plea."

>'Bhavani Singh has no authority to represent DVAC'

Mr. Anbazhagan’s counsel claimed that Mr. Singh was appointed as an SPP only for conduct of the trial by Karnataka govt. based on guidelines by SC

>In 2013, Anbazhagan moves HC in Jaya case

Mr. Anbazhagan recounted how he had given “a representation to Karnataka and Chief Justice of the Karnataka against Bhavani Singh detailing the allegations of collusion with the accused.”



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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 11:01:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/specials/in-depth/the-curious-case-of-the-special-public-prosecutor/article10818187.ece

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