Jaya case: Court can correct arithmetic error, but it could reverse verdict totally
Bengaluru, May 13: It is a kind of catch-22 situation in the J Jayalalithaa appeals case with the Special Public Prosecutor, B V Acharya pointing that there was a glaring arithmetic error made by the High Court while passing an order of acquittal.
In this context, it is interesting to take a note of Section 362 of the Criminal Procedural Code which permits correction of clerical or arithmetic errors by the judge once he has signed the order. However, in this case if the arithmetic error is corrected then the disproportionate assets component jumps from 8.12 per cent to a massive 76.77 per cent.
Section 362 of the Criminal Procedural Code:
Special Public Prosecutor, B V Acharya who pointed out this error in calculation says that they need to wait and see if the High Court will correct this error. He, however, says that correcting this error would automatically ensure that the disproportionate component would jump to 76.77 per cent from the 8.12 per cent as has been mentioned in the order.
Section 362 of the Criminal Procedural Code states: Court not to after judgement. Save as otherwise provided by this Code or by any other law for the time being in force, no Court, when it has signed its judgment or final order disposing of a case, shall alter or review the same except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error.
Can seek stay and reversal of acquittal:
The state of Karnataka, which is readying its appeal will focus first on obtaining a stay order from the Supreme Court of India. The main point in focus would this "glaring" arithmetic error as a result of which the acquittal took place.
Acharya informed that there was an error in calculations by the High Court while computing the loans taken from the banks Jayalalithaa. The court had wrongly calculated the loan amounts taken by the accused and their firms from nationalized banks.
The amount of loan taken was calculated at Rs 24.17 crore, when in reality is the actual sum was Rs 10.67 crore. This was added to the income and as a result the same was boosted up to Rs 18.17 crore. The court had also had deducted Rs. 5.99 crore. This amount was accepted by the by the prosecution as known income, Acharya also said.
Had this amount been calculated correctly the loan amount would have risen only by Rs 4.68 crore, he also informed. The value of the disproportionate assets would have been Rs 16.32 crore and not Rs 2.82 crore. The total income would be Rs. 21.26 crore instead of Rs. 34.76 crore.
These miscalculation of figures led to the acquittal of Jayalalithaa. The court had held that the quantum of disproportionate income was below 10 per cent of the total income and as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court, this could be ignored, Acharya also points out.