New Delhi, July 27: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Tamil du Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on a petition by the Kartaka government challenging the high court verdict acquitting her and three others in a disproportiote assets case. Notice has also been issued to Jayalalithaa’s three close aides, Sasikala tarajan, V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Elavarasi. An apex court bench of Justice Piki Chandra Ghose and Justice R.K. Agrawal also issued notice returble in eight weeks on the petition by DMK leader K. Anbazhagan and Bharatiya Jata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, both challenging the Kartaka High Court verdict acquitting Jayalalithaa.
“It may be a very important matter for you, but for us, this is nothing. We will decide as per the law,” Justice Ghose observed as Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya urged the court to pass a conditiol order of stay of the high court judgment. Last year, a trial court in Bengaluru sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years in jail and imposed a Rs.100 crore fine in the disproportiote assets case. But the Kartaka High Court accepted Jayalalithaa’s appeal and acquitted her of all charges this year.
The Kartaka High Court, holding the value of Jayalalithaa’s disproportiote assets at Rs.2.82 crore, instead of Rs.53.6 crore computed by the trial court, held the amount “not enough” to convict Jayalalithaa on corruption charges. Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy also acquitted Jayalalithaa’s three co-convicts, sentenced to four years in jail and fined Rs.10 crore each for allegedly amassing wealth disproportiote to their known sources of income during her first term as chief minister from 1991-96. The co-convicts are Sasikala tarajan, her nephew V.N. Sudhakaran and her aunt J. Ellavarsi. Sudhakaran is also the disowned foster son of Jayalalithaa. The high court’s order was faulted for glaring arithmetical errors, especially in respect of details of assets, loan raised and income earned. Jayalalithaa, who was elected from Srirangam in May 2011, lost her seat and the chief minister’s post after the trial court’s verdict. Jayalalithaa was again sworn in as chief minister after the Kartaka High Court upheld her appeal and acquitted her of all charges. (IANS)