Bengaluru, Dec 23: Six months have passed since the Supreme Court reserved its order in the J Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case. The death of Jayalalithaa may have taken some of the sheen out of the case. However, going by the developments in Tamil Nadu, the verdict still holds a great deal of importance.
Sasikala Natarajan considered to be a extra constitutional authority is clearly sending out signals of taking over the reigns following the death of her friend Jayalalithaa. There were some media reports suggesting that the case may fall flat in the event of Amma's death.
However, the judgment is usually abated in the event of a death provided there is only one accused in the case. In this case, Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakarn were also accused. Even if the Supreme Court strikes off Jayalalithaa's name, the verdict will be applicable to the remaining accused.
Sasikala's future depends on the SC verdict:
While none can question the Supreme Court as to when it would deliver the verdict, the fact is that everyone is waiting for the same with bated breath. If the order of the trial court were to be upheld it would mean Sasikala and the rest would have spend four years in jail.
The Supreme Court had reserved its order in the case on June 7. The Bench comprising Justices PC Ghosh and Amitava Roy, however, did not make it clear when they would deliver the verdict. Legal experts say that there is no time frame to deliver the verdict. Convention, on the other hand, demands that it be done soon and before the judge retires.
The verdict will have a big bearing on Tamil Nadu politics. If the trial court's verdict is upheld then it would be closed curtains for Sasikala for another four years at least. But if she is cleared by the Supreme Court then nothing will stop her from taking complete charge.
Karnataka, the appellant state had argued that the High Court had erred in reversing the trial court's verdict. Karnataka also pointed out that the error was so apparent that even Jayalalithaa's advocates only commented on the conclusive paragraph of the judgment without going into the reasons.
The Supreme Court while pronouncing its verdict would have to reason it out with merits. The court will have to conclude whether these persons were involved in a conspiracy to amass wealth disproportionate to their known source of income.