Today's Paper

Take action against Jayalalithaa: court

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Election Commission to initiate penal action against the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, for having filed "false declarations" before election authorities in 2001 when she filed her nomination in four Assembly constituencies.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices Dharmarao Elipe and S. Palanivelu, passed strictures against the Commission as well as Ms. Jayalalithaa and said: "Persons holding high offices/positions should be role models to the general public, and if they venture to commit flagrant violations of the rules and laws, that too knowingly, as in this case, it should not be taken lightly, sending wrong signals to the public that laws are meant only for the general public and not for the bigwigs who can go scot-free."

The Bench was passing orders on a public interest litigation petition filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP C. Kuppusamy, who said that Ms. Jayalalithaa had rendered herself liable for prosecution for offences under Section 177 (furnishing false information before a public servant) of the IPC.

She had filed nominations in the Andipatti, Krishnagiri, Bhuvanagiri and Pudukottai constituencies, and all the papers were rejected.

The Bench said that Ms. Jayalalithaa's declaration in the third and fourth constituencies that she had not been nominated from more than two segments was "false to her own knowledge and amounts to violation of Section 33(7)(b) of the Representation of the People Act."

The returning officers of the two segments "might have been too loyal to Ms. Jayalalithaa, whose party, at the relevant time, was ruling the State," the judges remarked, adding: "In the strong opinion of this court, the respondents, including the Election Commission of India, have not acted in the manner required by law."

Recommended for you