The Supreme Court today sought a response of Karnataka government on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's plea challenging the appointment of a presiding judge to conduct the trial of a 17-year-old disproportionate assets case against her in a Bangalore court.
A bench comprising justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde issued a notice to Karnataka government on the plea of the AIADMK supremo and three other accused challenging the notification in this regard and sought its response by November 15.
G B Mudigoudar was appointed as the presiding judge following the retirement of Balakrishna, who attained the age of superannuation on September 30, to conclude the trial expeditiously.
Besides Jayalalithaa, the other accused in the case are V K Sasikala, V N Sudhakaran and J Elavarasi.
They have contended Karnataka government had committed contempt of court by not implementing the apex court's directions issued on September 30 quashing the notification revoking the appointment of G Bhavani Singh as the special public prosecutor.
They submitted the apex court, while allowing Singh to continue as the SPP, asked the state government and the high court on its administrative side to consider extending the services of Balakrishna to conclude the trial expeditiously.
The petitioners said that without implementing the apex court's directions, the government issued a notification on October 3 appointing Mudigoudar as the presiding judge with retrospective effect from October 1 until further orders.
In the petition, they said the special judge had on October 3 itself took up the case and directed them to appear in the court on October 30 when it was wholly unnecessary as the questioning under Section 313 CrPC was over, the defence had concluded the arguments and the prosecution was midway in concluding its arguments.