New Delhi, Mar 16: Karnataka today argued before the Supreme Court that the verdict that acquitted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case was cryptic and illogical.
While arguing the case, special public prosecutor for Karnataka, B V Acharya pointed out the discrepancies in the totalling of the loan and also said mere filing of income tax returns does not absolve one of the charges.
The case has been adjourned for further hearing tomorrow. Acharya is likely to conclude arguments following which the counsel for Jayalalithaa will begin his arguments.
The arguments on the loan:
The prosecution brought on record some errors made by the Karnataka High Court in the totalling of the loan. The High Court had said that the loan component in Jayalalithaa's wealth was Rs 24.17 crore. However Karnataka had contended that if the loan table is added up it comes up to Rs 10.67 crore.
Karnataka stated that the judgment of the High Court mentions six other loans availed by entities linked to Jayalalithaa, but do not find a mention in the table of loans which is part of the High Court order. Karnataka states out of this five loans were given by the Indian Bank branch, Abiramapuram, Chennai, while the sixth was extended by by Indian Bank Thiruvarur branch.
The High Court had said that Rs 24.17 crore loans had been wrongly attributed as income by both the trial court and also the prosecution.
The court held that this had led to the assets being inflated. The percentage of disproportionate assets is 8.12%. It is relatively small. In the instant case, the disproportionate asset is less than 10% and it is within permissible limit," the High Court had also ruled.
Karnataka says that there is Rs 13.50 crore missing. This figure has been arrived at by subtracting the Rs 24.17 crore and Rs 10.67. The Rs 13.50 crore is missing according to the chart of the bank loans which has been included in the judgment.
Acharya would argue that the disproportionate assets is actually Rs 16.32 crore ie Rs 13.50 crore and Rs 2.82 crore. This amounts to over 76 per cent of her known source of income, it was further contended.
Namathu MGR had no subscription:
Seeking to dispel the argument by Jayalalithaa that a large part of the funds came from subscriptions of the Namathu MGR magazine, B V Acharya said that the subscription scheme for this magazine was introduced only after the DA case. The Namathu MGR had no subscription scheme until the year 1998. The subscription scheme was introduced only after the DA case.
Further Acharya questioned as to why Jayalalithaa filed her income tax returns in 1998. The DA case was registered in 1996 and the returns were filed in 1996, Acharya argued while stating that filing IT returns does not absolve one of the charges.
The trial court had rightly said that the income tax proceedings were of minimum evidentiary value. How could the High Court say that loan be considered as income.
Further Karnataka also contended that Jayalalithaa is a public servant, It was her duty to declare her assets. It is the duty of government servants even in Tamil Nadu to declare their assets. Why did Jayalalithaa fail to do so?
The High Court considers the income declared in the IT returns and cleared Jayalalithaa and others of a big amount of disproportionate assets. The Supreme Court has time and again said that in DA cases, the source of income must be explained at any cost. Moreover income tax does not verify the source of the income. IT returns cannot be accepted as proof of income.