Jayalalithaa case: Court can correct but not change verdict, says senior counsel C V Nagesh

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Chennai, May 13: Since the verdict in the J Jayalalithaa case was pronounced there has been a raging debate over the arithmetic errors in the verdict.

According to the Special Public Prosecutor in the case, B V Acharya, the calculations were crucial as it decreased by a huge margin the quantum of the disproportionate income which resulted in the acquittal of Jayalalithaa. [Jaya case: Court can correct arithmetic error, but it could reverse verdict totally]

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Senior counsel, C V Nagesh who appeared for DMK leader, Anbazahagan says an arithmetic or clerical error can be corrected by the High Court under Section 362 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. [Jaya case: Court likely to rectify arithmetic errors]

Speaking to OneIndia, Nagesh says even if the corrections are made, the outcome of the verdict will not be affected.

Outcome of verdict remains the same

Nagesh says that this is a matter which will have to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court only. All provisions of appeals in Karnataka have been exhausted now and it is the state of Karnataka and the aggrieved parties who can approach the Supreme Court in appeal. [How Jayalalithaa cornered Subramanian Swamy within Modi-led BJP]

On the question of the arithmetic error alleged by the SPP, Nagesh says Section 362 of the Code of Criminal Procedural Code permits the judge to make cleric or arithmetic corrections once the order is signed.

While these corrections can be made, the outcome of the verdict cannot be changed. Whether it is a conviction or acquittal, the corrections shall not come in the way of the final verdict, Nagesh also points out.

Who can file an appeal?

Nagesh says any aggrieved person in the case can go in appeal before the Supreme Court. Earlier, the rule was only the prosecuting state (in this case, Karnataka) could go in appeal before the Supreme Court of India.

However there was an amendment to Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in the year 2009. As per this amendment, it said that any person aggrieved could approach the Supreme Court in appeal.

In this case there are two aggrieved persons. Dr Subramanian Swamy the original complainant in the case is well within his right to approach the Supreme Court. Anbazahagan who has been part of this case is also an aggrieved party in my opinion.

He was permitted to assist the prosecution and also file his written arguments before the Karnataka High Court. He is very much part of this case and hence could be called an aggrieved party.

Who will file the appeal?

Nagesh says that there is no indication on this front as of now. Let us wait and see when the state will go up in appeal. I had represented Anbazahgan on two counts- one regarding the further investigations and the other on the appointment of Bhavani Singh as the SPP.

In my view when the Supreme Court struck down the appointment of Bhavani Singh, it gave us the permission to file written arguments. My point is that the time granted was too less. There were over 8,000 documents and 236 witnesses and we were given just 24 hours time to file written arguments.

I cannot comment any further on the appeal as of now. Everything needs to be analysed and scrutinized before a final decision can be taken, C V Nagesh also points out.

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