Bengaluru, Jan 22: The Karnataka government has chosen to remain silent after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa launched a scathing attack on the decision to move the Supreme Court challenging her acquittal in the disproportionate assets case.
Karnataka says that it will not react to the statements made by the Tamil Nadu chief minister and will instead fight the case out in court.
Sources in the law department of Karnataka tell OneIndia that Karnataka is the prosecuting agency and the case was moved to the state on a directive of the Supreme Court.
The trial was held in Karnataka and even the appeal was filed in the Karnataka High Court. It is only obvious that since Karnataka is the prosecuting state, it will be the one moving the Supreme Court in appeal.
Battle of the states on Feb 2:
The final round of litigation will be fought in the Supreme Court starting Feb 2. The case is expected to be heard on a day to day basis and both sides will put their best foot forward to ensure a victory.
For Jayalalithaa, this litigation is extremely important as her political career would largely depend on the outcome of the Supreme Court verdict.
If the Supreme Court decides to reverse her acquittal then she will be barred from contesting an election for the next 6 years.
However, if the order of acquittal is upheld that then it clears her completely. Karnataka has repeatedly stated that the High Court had erred while delivering the verdict of acquittal.
Jayalalithaa on Thursday, Jan 21 released a 6 page document highlighting her argument and also defending her acquittal. Jayalalithaa questioned the locus stand of the State of Karnataka to even file a special leave petition or an appeal in the apex court for an alleged offence which took place in the Tamil Nadu.
The Chief Minister invoked Article 162 of the Constitution, which prescribes that the executive power of the State Executive is co-extensive with that of the State Legislature.
She also argued that Karnataka got a role as prosecutor only after the Supreme Court transferred the corruption case to it on November 18, 2004. If not for this transfer order, Karnataka had no involvement in the corruption case.
Karnataka on the other hand has decided to stick to the arguments in the Supreme Court. It maintains that it is the prosecuting state and has the power to file the appeal in the Supreme Court.
The Karnataka government has repeatedly spoken about the arithmetic error made by the High Court as a result of which Jayalalithaa and three others got the benefit of an acquittal.
The acquittal can be set aside by correcting one error, Karnataka will also contend in the Supreme Court.
The totalling mistake shows that the value of disproportionate assets of the accused comes to Rs. 16.32 crore, that is 76.7 per cent of the income, against the 8.12 per cent arrived at by the High Court.
The judgment of acquittal is liable to be converted into one of conviction even as per the purported principle in Krishnanand Agnihotri's case.
The 1977 case law which the High Court has relied on holds that an offence was not made out if the value of disproportionate assets was found to be less than 10 per cent of the income. This cannot be relied on here as the disproportionate assets runs into crores of rupees.