SC dismisses state's review plea in Jaya case

SC dismisses state's review plea in Jaya case

 The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by the Karnataka government seeking review of the judgement that had abated the proceedings against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, the late J Jayalalithaa, in the disproportionate assets case.

The state government sought to recover Rs 100 crore fine from the estate of Jayalalithaa as the apex court had earlier restored the trial court verdict, that had held Jayalalithaa and three others guilty. A bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy, which decided the matter in chamber, said, “We have considered the review petitions filed by the state of Karnataka on merits. In our opinion, no case for review of our order dated 14th February, 2017 is made out. Consequently, the review petitions are dismissed on merits.”

Both the judges, who passed the February 14 judgement, also rejected a plea by the state government for an open court hearing.

According to the SC Rules, review petitions are considered in chambers by circulation of the petitions and in absence of counsel.

In its review petition, the government had contended that in the case of appeal against conviction, it is settled law that the appeal does not abate if the accused has been sentenced to pay fine.

Contention

Though the question of Accused No. 1 (Jayalalithaa) undergoing further imprisonment does not arise (due to her death), the sentence to pay fine is legally sustainable, which has to be recovered from the estate, particularly because the case was related to illegal acquisition of assets, it had maintained. The apex court had earlier set aside the Karnataka High Court's judgement of May 11, 2016.

The top court had restored the trial court’s judgement “in toto”. Jayalalithaa was sentenced to four years jail term along with Rs 100 crore fine by the Bengaluru court. But the proceedings against her before the SC got abated in view of her death on December 5 last.

However, Sasikala and two of her relatives were held guilty for conspiracy and abetting Jayalalithaa's “sinister” design to launder ill-gotten wealth to the tune of Rs 53.6 crore. As a result, all three were also handed four years jail term, along with fine.

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