State wants to rectify procedural error in Jaya case

Wealth amassment case has reached final stage

The Karnataka government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it wanted to rectify the procedural error made by the previous BJP government, which did not oppose the appointment of G Bhavani Singh as prosecutor, by removing him from the case relating to the alleged amassing of wealth of Rs 66.65 crore by Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha.

A bench of Justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde wondered as to why the State government did not write back to the then acting chief justice of the Karnataka High Court when he decided to appoint Singh in February even though his name was not on the list of four recommended for the post.

“Are you trying to rectify the error made by the State government then?” the bench asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati. “Yes,” said the top law officer of the country, representing the State government, asserting “that (opposition on name) ought to have been done but that was not done.”

The court pointed out that when Singh was chosen by the then acting chief justice for the post, it was not a binding order on the State government and, asked why the State government accepted it. “Yes, it is true they accepted it. Now, we have objections. I can’t answer why that government (the BJP government) did not do anything,” Vahanvati said.

He also referred to the letter written by the present chief justice of the High Court on September 14 stating that there was no consultations held in January on the
appointment of the prosecutor.

‘Dangerous consequences’

Going into the chronology of the appointment of Singh and acceptance of the resignation of previous prosecutor, senior advocate B V Acharya, Vahanvati told the court that the prayer made by the AIADMK chief for grant of extension to the special judge, who is set to retire on September 30, could not be considered as it would have dangerous consequences.

During the hearing, the court also observed that there is no decided case as yet in which the person, chief justice of the High Court, who himself acts, says that there was no consultation.

The case was transferred to a Bangalore court in 2003 on an order passed by the apex court. The case has now reached its fag end with the prosecution having initiated its final arguments.

The removal of special public prosecutor has become controversial with Jayalalitha approaching the apex court a second time in a fortnight, imputing political motives.
She claimed that it would also delay the conclusion of the case.

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