'Jayalaltihaa judgment can undermine eradication of corruption'

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Chennai, May 13: PMK founder S. Ramadoss on Wednesday said many observations in the judgment given in the disproportionate assets case against AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa can undermine the efforts to eradicate corruption in India.

In a statement issued here, Ramadoss said: "There are many more loopholes in Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy's judgment. [Jaya case: Court can correct arithmetic error, but it could reverse verdict totally]

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"These deficiencies have not just helped Jayalalithaa to escape the case. But what is far more worrying is that many of the observations in the judgment can undermine the efforts to eradicate corruption in India."

He said adding gifts worth Rs.1.50 crore received by Jayalalithaa to her income amounts to legitimising her corruption.

Ramadoss said the judgment hides one vital fact. It may not be wrong for political leaders to receive gifts from their followers during birthdays.

But Jayalalitha did not receive these gifts as a political leader, he said.

"The important fact that she received them while holding office as chief minister is omitted in the judgment. The Government Employees (Conduct) rules clearly states that ministers should not receive gifts of any nature.

"That being the case how can gifts received by Jayalalitha during her tenure as CM (chief minister) can be taken as income?" Ramadoss said.

According to him, a case filed by CBI regarding Jayalalithaa illegally receiving gifts is pending in the Supreme Court.

"Declaring Jayalalithaa's illegal gift receipts as income and legitimising this at this time would set a wrong precedence.

"It will create a situation where a minister or government servant can do any amount of corruption and declare assets possessed disproportionate to their income as gifts to escape from conviction," Ramadoss added.

According to Ramadoss, Justice Kumaraswamy's judgement has ignored the direction of the Supreme Court that the judgment should take into account that corruption is the biggest evil in the country.

Conversely, the verdict given by Justice Kumaraswamy appears to encourage corruption, he said.

Only if the judgment of Justice Kumarswamy is revised, the evil of corruption can be driven away from India. The Karnataka government should consider these issues and appeal against the verdict in higher courts, he said.

IANS

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