State seeks 100 cr from Jaya estate

State seeks 100 cr from Jaya estate

State seeks 100 cr from Jaya estate

The Karnataka government on Tuesday sought Rs 100 crore from the estate of J Jayalalithaa, the late chief minister of Tamil Nadu convicted in a corruption case.

A petition sought a review of the Supreme Court’s February 14 judgement abating proceedings against her following her death. Karnataka’s plea termed the order an “error apparent on the face of record.”

Jayalalithaa was a public servant convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act for acquiring wealth disproportionate to her income, the petition said.  “It is settled law that the appeal does not abate if the accused has been sentenced to pay fine,” the petition, filed through advocate Joseph Aristotle, stated.

The trial court had imposed a penalty of Rs 100 crore on Jayalalithaa, besides sentencing her to a jail term, the petition recalled. The question of Jayalalithaa undergoing further imprisonment does not arise since she died on December 5, 2016, but the penalty is legally sustainable and must be recovered from her estate, Karnataka contended.

“The finding that the appeal has abated is not correct,” the petition said.

The government maintained there was no provision either in the Constitution or the Supreme Court Rules of 2013 for penalty abatement. The apex court had heard the arguments on criminal appeals between February 23 and June 7 last year.

Jayalalithaa died on December 5, and the judgement  was pronounced on February 14. “The court overlooked the position of law that if the death takes place after arguments are concluded and the judgement is reserved, the appeal does not abate,” the petition said. By setting aside the Karnataka High Court’s judgement of May 11, 2016, acquitting Jayalalithaa and others, the top court had restored the trial court judgement in toto, the petition observed.

Jayalalithaa had been sentenced to four years in jail and a fine of Rs 100 crore fine by the Bengaluru court.

The apex court upheld the order, holding Sasikala and two of her relatives guilty of abetting Jayalalithaa's “sinister” design to launder ill-gotten wealth to the tune of Rs 53.6 crore.

Sasikala and two of her relatives were also slapped penalties and awarded four years in jail.
DH News Service

Dec 5, 2016: Jayalalithaa dies in hospital.
Feb 14, 2017: Supreme Court upholds her conviction by a trial court.
It sends co-accused Sasikala and two others to jail, and abates case against her.
March 21, 2017: Karnataka says no law allows abatement of her Rs 100 cr penalty.

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