Jaya DA case: Meet B V Acharya, who made sure Sasikala went to jail

Despite the immense pressure, the special public prosecutor stood his ground and ensured the case was taken to its logical conclusion

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For senior counsel B V Acharya, the special public prosecutor in the Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case, it is a job well done. He has battled all odds, stood his ground and ensured that the case of 20 years was taken to its logical conclusion.

Acharya's stint as the SPP in this case was anything but easy. Brutally honest and straight forward, he was a thorn for the accused. He had to deal with the frustrations of the numerous adjournments and also those chaotic scenes in court. In 2012, he came under immense pressure from the then BJP government in Karnataka to give up either the post of advocate general or SPP.

File photo of special public prosecutor B V Acharya

There was something that told him that this was part of some larger game. He gave up his post as AG instead. However for the other side, the game had just begun. They wanted Acharya out as the SPP at any cost. They did try to get him out and when all that failed, they filed a private complaint against him since he was the chairman of an educational institution.

The sessions court ordered a probe into the complaint in which it was alleged that some teachers in the institute were paid higher amounts. It was tough for Acharya to deal with this complaint. The matter was then taken to the high court which quashed the complaint and even ordered payment of Rs 50,000 as damages. Acharya was obviously fed up and resigned.

The government appointed G Bhavani Singh as the SPP. The trial court convicted Jayalalithaa, but the high court set aside that order. In 2015, before the appeal was filed in the Supreme Court, Acharya was appointed SPP again as the SC held that Singh was not qualified to hold the post.

Acharya says that the pressure was immense.

"I will not get into those details. All I can say is that there were incentives and offers that were made through many people which I flatly refused," he says.

Acharya would get calls saying, someone from Tamil Nadu wanted to meet with him. "I always refused as I knew what they were trying to do," he says. After the SC verdict was out, Acharya said, "I am not surprised."

He says that the case was fool-proof and there was no way an acquittal could have been ordered. "The arguments in the SC were tough," he points out as they went on for three months. "However, we were confident since the case was fool-proof," he concludes.

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