Chennai, May 16: It is now clear that the verdict in the Jayalalithaa case will be challenged by the state of Karnataka before the Supreme Court of India.The state government is contemplating two options where the time frame of filing the appeal is concerned.
The state could go in appeal as early as next week or exercise the entire 90 day period. As per the law, an appeal challenging an acquittal needs to be filed in 90 days time. A cabinet meeting is scheduled for next week in which the final modalities will be decided.
Time frame to file appeal
The time frame to file the appeal would be crucial. As the former Tamil Nadu chief minister would be waiting with bated breath for the next move by the Karnataka government it would be interesting to see how long it would take before an appeal is filed.
Sources in the law department of Karnataka tell OneIndia that they are likely to exercise the entire 90 day period. We could file it on the 89th day or on the 90th day also, the officer informed.
However within the government there are contradictory views as some feel that the state should go in appeal as early as possible.
There are various scenarios possible in the wake of this appeal being filed. If Jayalalithaa were to take over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu now, she would need to step down in case the Supreme Court grants a stay on the High Court verdict.
However there are indications that Jayalalithaa is in no hurry to take over as the CM and would rather wait for the result in the Supreme Court in a bid to avoid any confusion.
Karnataka on the other hand would wait and see what decision she takes in the meeting that she has called for on May 22.
In case she does not take over as the Chief Minister and the Supreme Court were to stay the High Court verdict, then she will need to obtain bail once again.
If the High Court verdict is stayed, then the order of conviction by the trial court will be in force and hence she will need to seek fresh bail before the Supreme Court.
High Court may not meddle with its order
Although it was stated two days back that the High Court may correct the arithmetic errors that were pointed out by the prosecution, it is unlikely that it may amend its order now.
Special Public Prosecutor B V Acharya says that it is not possible to make those corrections as per Section 362 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. She was acquitted as the quantum of the disproportionate assets were less than 10 per cent.
If the errors were to be corrected then the quantum would jump to over 70 per cent and an acquittal would not be justified.
Moreover it is the law that the High Court once it has signed its order can only make corrections in case of clerical or arithmetic errors. However it is clearly stated that the final outcome of the verdict cannot be changed at any cost. Hence the High Court would not meddle with its own order.