The government of Karnataka represented by its counsel Dushyanth Dave put up a spirited argument while seeking to overturn the order of the Karnataka High Court which acquitted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa and three others in the disproportionate assets case. The court after hearing Dave adjourned hearing on the matter to March 15.
During the course of the arguments, an advocate intervened and questioned the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in hearing this appeal. He stated that the appeal ought to have been heard by a Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court.
The Bench directed him to file an interlocutory application while assuring to hear him.
Correct one error and the case changes
Dave during his submission said that the High court first accepted the value of the disproportionate assets of Rs 66 crore. Then it goes on to decrease the value of the disproportionate assets. I fail to understand how the HC did that, Dave argued.
There is no doubt in our minds that the High Court verdict acquitting Jayalalithaa was wrong. In the interest of justice it needs to be set aside, he also submitted.
Why did the Karnataka High Court give us just one day to make submissions. First it refused to make us a party in the case. After the Supreme Court's intervention, we were given just one day to argue. We are the prosecuting state. Moreover we were allowed only written submissions, Karnataka also contended.
The trial court had issued its order after taking into account every detail. The statements of all witnesses were recorded and all evidence was taken on record. Correct one error and the order of the High Court goes Karnataka contended.
The acquittal can be set aside by correcting one error. The totalling mistake shows that the value of disproportionate assets of the accused comes to Rs. 16.32 crore, that is 76.7 per cent of the income, against the 8.12 per cent arrived at by the High Court.
The judgment of acquittal is liable to be converted into one of conviction even as per the principle in Krishnanand Agnihotri's case.
The 1977 case law which the High Court has relied on holds that an offence was not made out if the value of disproportionate assets was found to be less than 10 per cent of the income, Karnataka also contended.
This cannot be relied on here as the disproportionate assets runs into crores of rupees.
fter Dave concluded his arguments, senior counsel B V Acharya the special public prosecutor in the case commenced arguments. He focused on the various companies relating to the disproportionate assets case against Jayalalithaa.