Fighting a case which involves J Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, is no mean task. Over a decade had passed and finally the court gave its decision which changed the dynamics in the politics of Tamil Nadu.
The case was initially conducted by BV Acharya who was appointed as the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP). Acharya stepped down as the Special Prosecutor after a controversy and he has mentioned several times after that there were attempts made to influence him a great deal. [Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case: B V Acharya is the new SPP]
Bhavani Singh was then appointed as the SPP in the case and it was under him that the final verdict was delivered in which Jayalalithaa was convicted and awarded a four year sentence which disqualified her from contesting the elections and also she had to give up her post of Chief Minister.
Bhavani Singh has had no easy task and he would rate it as one of the toughest cases that he has fought till date. Singh took time out to speak with Oneindia about the ordeal in fighting this case and also the road ahead since the appeals are pending.
Thoughts on Acharya's allegations:
Acharya conducted the case during the preliminary stages. He has claimed that he quit the case due to pressure and fears. What is pressure for an advocate?
All this is part of the job. One must not look at the case with the view point of who is the accused in it. There is no such thing as a high or low profile accused.
All are one before the law. During many cases there are pressures and allegations. That should not be a reason to leave a case. It is not correct what he has expressed. I don't agree with it.
Toughest case:According to me BV Acharya only conducted 1/4th of the case. Those were the days of the trial and arguments had not reached a boiling point as yet.
I came in at a very tough stage of the case. In fact the case has started to move and the one and half years that I dealt with it all the action took place there. Basically what I would say is that I did 3/4th of the case.
As I have pointed out that it was the toughest case. It was challenging in terms of the numerous documents and also the time that it had gone on for. [Twist in Jayalalithaa case: Ram Jethmalani miracle fails, bail plea rejected, TN devastated]
I can say with confidence that there was no pressure on me when I fought the case. However, there were allegations. I was accused of taking sides and favouring people in the case.Karunanidhi made allegations against me. I never took all that to heart and just did it as my profession. However at the end of it when the conviction went through even Karunanidhi realized that what he had alleged was wrong.
As advocates we should not bother about pressures and allegations. We need to work according to our conscience. In such cases which have politicians involved, all these things are common. We need to keep our mind on the case.
As I said there were allegations. However, there were no threats. I know it was a case involving politicians and there was a lot at stake. However, I can say with confidence that no one threatened me.
In fact when I came into the scene, there was a lot that was happening in the case. I had to argue for a conviction and also a sentence. There were bound to be threats. However, if one sticks to their job all things should not matter.
There is a lot of work ahead. The bail hearing was also challenging. The Supreme Court is seized off the matter today and I think a date will be given for the proceedings before the High Court to start. [Rajinikanth greets Jayalalithaa, lands in controversy; BJP unhappy with Maneka Gandhi]
They have filed an appeal and we are going to argue for upholding the sentence. I don't think there will be any delay like there was during the trial stages.
With regard to the conviction, we are going to argue for upholding it. We are basically going to seek before the High Court not to interfere with the verdict of the special court. However, regarding the sentence we are not decided as yet.
Whether we would ask the High Court to uphold the sentence or seek an enhancement of the same is something that we will take a decision on.
There is some paper work remaining and we also have a couple of meetings before the final call on these aspects are taken. It will be done soon.