New Delhi, July 27: A Division Bench of the Supreme Court will commence hearing on the J Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case today. The matter will come up before a Bench comprising Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and R K Agarwal.
The appeal has been filed by the Karnataka government challenging the acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa and others in the disproportionate assets case.
The Karnataka government has sought reversal of the order of the Karnataka High Court which acquitted the Tamil Nadu Chief Miniter and her aides, Sasikala Natrajan, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran.
What will Supreme Court do today?
The Supreme Court is expected to issue notices to Jayalalithaa and others today. A date for further hearing would be given as the matter is coming up for admission before the court today. The Karnataka government would however seek a stay on the order of the High Court.
Legal experts say that a stay may not be issued and the Supreme Court may want to dispose off the matter without disturbing the existing situation. In the event of a stay on the High Court order, Jayalalithaa will have to step down as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
This is the final round of litigation in this case. Apart from the Karnataka Government, appeals have been filed by DMK leader, Anbazhagan as well.
The Karnataka government will be represented by senior counsel, B V Acharya. He was appointed by the state of Karnataka as the special counsel in this case. Acharya had initially represented the state as the special public prosecutor at the trial stage. He had however stepped down alleging pressure.
Grounds for appeal:
The main emphasis of the appeal is on the arithmetic errors committed by Justice Kumaraswamy while delivering the verdict of acquittal against Jayalalithaa and her aides.
As per the opinion given by Acharya the judge had erred while calculating the quantum of the disproportionate assets.
A calculation error had brought down the quantum to less than 10 percent as a result of which the case resulted in an acquittal.
The second line of argument in the appeal is that Karnataka the prosecuting state was not made a party in the appeal. The appeal states that Karnataka was made the prosecuting state by the Supreme Court when the case was transferred from Tamil Nadu. However, during the course of the hearing in the High Court, Karntaka was neither heard nor made a party.
This is a serious defect and an order could not have been passed without hearing the prosecuting state. Making the prosecuting state or agency is a legal mandate.
Jayalalithaa's legal team was given two months time to advance arguments, but no prosecutor authorised by Karnataka was present during such arguments. Karnataka was not given a chance to put forth arguments.