Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday filed an affidavit in Supreme Court against appeals challenging her acquittal in the disproportionate assets case.
The Congress-led Karnataka government had earlier moved the Supreme Court against the acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in the disproportionate assets case by the Karnataka High Court.
The Karnataka government had also sought a stay of the high court ruling, saying that not doing so would be a “travesty of justice”, according to the lawyer for the state government Joseph Aristotle.
The Karnataka government had urged the apex court to stay the implementation of the May 11 verdict of the High Court.
“Pass an ex-parte ad-interim order of stay, staying the operation of impugned final judgment and order of May 11,” a petition by the Karnataka government said in its prayer for interim relief.
The appeal against the May 11 verdict also sought setting aside of the acquittal of Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala and two of her relatives, VN Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, on the grounds that Karnataka’s prosecuting agency was not made a party by them before the High Court.
The petition, filed through advocate Joseph Aristotle, claimed that the High Court erred in computing the disproportionate assets of the AIADMK leader.
“The judge committed a grave mistake in totalling the ten items of loan by arriving at a figure of Rs 24.17 crore when, actually on proper totalling, the same ought to be Rs 10.67 crore, resulting in erroneous decision that disproportionate assets is only to the extent of 8.12 percent of the income when actually it works out to 76.7 percent, the disproportionate assets being Rs 16.32 crore and the income as found being Rs 21.26 crore,” the plea said.
The state government in the petition asked as to whether the High Court had “erred in law” by according the benefit of doubt to Jayalalithaa in pursuance of a Supreme Court judgement holding that an accused can be acquitted if his or her disproportionate assets was to the extent of 10 percent.
It also claimed that the High Court has erred in law in over-ruling the preliminary objections raised by the state government and added that the accused had filed their appeals against conviction without impleading Karnataka as a party.
The plea also referred to a recent Supreme Court judgement holding that the Tamil Nadu government had no right to appoint Advocate Bhawani Singh as special public prosecutor (SPP) to appear in the Karnataka High Court.
State government has sought a stay on the High Court verdict, saying that Jayalalithaa “was holding position of Chief Minister of the state at the time of the commission of the offences. The charges are grave. The order of acquittal has resulted in gross miscarriage of justice”.
The 67-year-old AIADMK chief took oath as chief minister for the fifth time in Chennai on May 24 after the single judge bench of Justice CR Kumaraswamy upheld her appeal, quashed all charges against her and set aside her conviction and four-year sentence a trial court here handed down to her on September 27, 2014.
The Karnataka High Court, holding the value of Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate assets at Rs 2.82 crore, instead of Rs 53.6 crore computed by the trial court, held the amount “not enough” to convict Jayalalithaa on corruption charges.
Justice Kumaraswamy had also acquitted Jayalalithaa’s three co-convicts, sentenced to four years jail and fined Rs 10 crore each for allegedly amassing wealth disproportionate to their source of income during her first term as chief minister from 1991-96.
The co-convicts are Sasikala Natarajan, her nephew VN Sudhakaran and her aunt J Ellavarsi. Sudhakaran is also the disowned foster son of Jayalalithaa.