Apex court seeks response from HC, Karnataka on Jayalalithaa plea

Apex court seeks response from HC,  Karnataka on Jayalalithaa plea

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Karnataka High Court’s Registrar General and the State government if they considered its order for extension to special judge who heard the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha and retired on September 30.

A bench of Justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde issued notice to the Registrar and Karnataka government and posted the matter for November 15 for hearing on the petition filed by the AIADMK leader.

The chief minister approached the court seeking direction to quash the appointment of G B Mudigoudar in place of M S Balakrishna to hear the 17-year-old case against her at a Bangalore court.

She contended that the State government did not take into account the apex court’s September 30 order asking the High Court to consider on administrative side if, in order to conclude the trial expeditiously, the trial judge could be granted extension and given contractual appointment.

As the matter was taken up on Wednesday, senior advocate Raju Ramachandran submitted that senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, who represented the petitioner and argued the matter on the previous day, was not available.

The court was about to adjourn the matter to November 15 on his request, but it noted the presence of Karnataka government counsel Anita Shenoy.

“Madam, who are you representing in this case? You are here uninvited by us, so you take notice. This is the danger of being here without our invitation,” the court remarked, as the counsel submitted that she represented both the High Court and the Karnataka government.

The case relates to amassing of disproportionate assets by Jayalalitha to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore during 1991 and 1996 when she was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. The case was transferred to Bangalore in 2003.

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