State moves SC against Jayalalitha's acquittal

State moves SC against Jayalalitha's acquittal

State moves SC against Jayalalitha's acquittal

A day after Jayalalitha started campaigning for her re-election to the Tamil Nadu Assembly, the State government on Tuesday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the Karnataka High Court order acquitting her and three others in a disproportionate assets case.

The State government contended that the high court had on May 11 committed a grave error while calculating the disproportionate assets to the extent of 8.12 per cent only when it is actually 76.7 per cent of the total income.

It also claimed the proceedings before the high court was vitiated for denying reasonable opportunity of hearing to the State government despite being the sole prosecuting agency. 

After the apex court held on April 27 that the appointment of special public prosecution G Bhavani Singh was illegal, the State government was granted only one day’s time just to file its written submission in the case.

“Non-joinder of the sole prosecuting agency can never be an irregularity. It is an illegality which goes to the root of the matter,” it said.

The appeal filed by advocate Joseph Aristotle urged the apex court to set aside the order exonerating the TN chief minister and three others in the case. As an interim relief, the petition sought a stay on the high court order.

The AIADMK chief had to quit the chief minister’s post following her conviction and sentencing to four-year jail term with Rs 100 crore fine under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act by a trial court in Bengaluru on September 27.

Describing the charges against her as “grave”, the petition said: “The order has resulted in gross miscarriage of justice. If the said judgment is not stayed, it would result in travesty of justice.”
The special leave petition was filed at a time when Jayalalitha launched her campaign for re-election to the Tamil Nadu Assembly through a by-election in R K Nagar constituency. She returned as chief minister after the high court judgment.

In its plea, the State government also claimed that the high court has concluded in a “casual manner” that the charges of conspiracy against co-accused Sasikala Natarajan, V N Sudhakaran and J Elavarasi was not proved even though it treated the assets and liabilities of all accused as one unit.

The three were also sentenced to four-year imprisonment with fine by the trial court.

“The conclusions reached by the judge are not based on proper appreciation of evidence and are bordering on perversity and is therefore liable to be set aside. The judgment lacks reasoning, is not logical and cryptic,” it added.

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