'Decision on appeal against Jaya acquittal as early as possible'

Last Updated 30 May 2015, 09:50 IST
Karnataka government would take a call "as early as possible" on "merits" on the issue of filing an appeal against acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case, State Law Minister T B Jayachandra said today.

"We (Government) had sought many clarifications and they have been answered by the Advocate General (Ravivarma Kumar). On merits where are we - I am examining it, and I will take a final call as early as possible," he told reporters here.

In the May 11 verdict that restored Chief Ministership to her, Jayalalithaa was acquitted by the Karnataka High Court of "all charges" in the 19-year old disproportionate assets case. Three other convicts, including her close aide Sasikala Natarajan, were also given a clean chit by the High Court.

Responding to questions, Jayachandra initially said, "We had sought some clarifications from Advocate General and we have received them. I will look into those recommendations and will take decision in three to four days time."'

But later he said the decision would be taken "as early as possible." Jayachandra said the Advocate General has recommended to the government to file an appeal in the Supreme Court, but refused to share the details of AG's views.

However, Jayachandra said, "As per law, 90 days is the limit. It is not even 15 to 20 days (since the verdict came), and ... the law department has to go and study all aspects."
Special Public Prosecutor B V Acharya also had advised the government to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against Jayalalithaa's acquittal, saying it was a "fit case" to do so.

Asked what would be the government's decision, Jayachandra said he would know only after the law department submits its opinion, which would reach him in next two days.
"I can't say all those things. I have to go through all these things - the Special Public Prosecutor's letter, which is a big letter. There is Advocate General's opinion, judgement and clarifications. All these I have to study. The law department will put it across to me - it will come in day or two, then I will take a decision," he said.

To a query, Jayachandra said the matter had nothing to do with the cabinet, instead he has to be convinced of what has been recommended. "That has nothing to do with cabinet. I have to be convinced of what has been recommended and all those things."
Karnataka is the sole prosecuting agency in the case, which was transferred to Bengaluru from Tamil Nadu by the Supreme Court for a "fair" trial.

Justice C R Kumaraswamy of the Karnataka High Court had set aside the trial court's judgement which had sentenced Jayalalithaa and three others to four years in jail and allowed the appeals by all the four convicts.

Special Court judge Michael D Cunha had on September 27 last held Jayalalithaa and three others guilty of corruption and awarded four years jail term, due to which she attracted disqualification as an MLA that divested her of Chief Ministership. The judge had also slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on the AIADMK chief and ]Rs 10 crore each on three other convicts.
(Published 30 May 2015, 09:47 IST)

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