Bengaluru, June 6: Hearing in the J Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case will continue in the Supreme Court. The Bench comprising Justices, P C Ghose and Amitava Roy had heard at length the Special Public Prosecutor of Karnataka last week.
While the arguments relating to the facts of the case involving both the conviction and acquittal are complete, the Bench will hear the matters relating to the companies today.
For Karnataka Siddharth Luthra would argue on the seizure of assets of the five companies - Indo-Doha Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd., Signora Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., Ramraj Agro Mills Ltd., Meadow Agro Farms, and Riverway Agro Products. Counsel for Jayalalithaa Harin Raval would also argue today.
On the last date of hearing:
On the last date of hearing there were several observations made by the Bench. The Bench had observed orally that mere disproportionate assets do not constitute an offence. It has to be proven that the assets were raised with money gotten illegally.
Further the Bench also sought to know if Karnataka the prosecuting state had evidence to show that the money in question belonged to Jayalalithaa.
Counsel for Karnataka, Dushyanth Dave pointed out that the court had three options- " confirm the order of the High Court that acquitted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa, confirm the trial court order that convicted her or refer the matter back to the Karnataka High Court so that it could consider the matter afresh."
The Bench observed that referring the matter back to the High Court would cause injustice to the accused persons. It would mean that the order of the trial court is being upheld, the Bench observed while indicating that this possibility is being ruled out.
Jayalalithaa's counsel had submitted that it cannot be presumed that she was the source of the money just because the co-accused, Sasikala Natrajan, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran lived in the same house. When the Bench sought to know if Karnataka could prove if the money circulated among the co-accused belonged to Jayalalithaa.
B V Acharya, special public prosecutor for Karnataka said that Jayalalithaa cannot distance herself from the co-accused at this point in time. She cannot also distance herself from the assets, Acharya also contended.
Acharya explained while calculating the disproportionate assets, the expenditure, value and also income, the same has been taken into consideration jointly along with the 34 companies and firms.
The trial court and the high court have not considered the assets or disproportionate assets of each accused separately. Hence Jayalalithaa cannot now make out a case in these appeals concurrent to the findings of the high court and the trial court.
Dave again pointed out to the Bench that gifts from party workers cannot be considered to be a lawful source of income. Rs 1.5 crore had been received from party workers on her birthday.
The court must take note of this seriously and such forms of bribery and corruption will only destroy the foundation of the economy, Dave contended.