Wednesday, February 8, 2023

SC reserves its judgment in Jaya case

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its judgement in the disproportionate assets case related to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and others. The Karnataka government in a petition had challenged the 2015 decision of the Karnataka High Court, which had acquitted all of them. Besides Jayalalithaa, others acquitted were her close aide Sasikala and her relatives VN Sudhakaran and Elavarasi. 
The apex court also asked all respondents to file their written submissions by Friday, June 10.

Earlier in its last hearing, the apex court had noted that merely having assets which are more than the known sources of income is not an offense as per law.

It had laid the onus on the Karnataka government to prove that Jayalalithaa had acquired assets through illegal means, in order to establish that she was guilty.

It also raised doubts whether the huge money being talked about actually belonged to the Tamil Nadu CM.

Jaya was accused of collecting wealth disproportionate to her known sources of income while she was CM from 1991 to 1996.

The state government, along with DMK leader K Anbazhagan and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, had pleaded before the apex court that there were enough grounds for holding Jayalalithaa and others guilty in the case as the high court had “committed error” in computing her assets and all evidence had not been examined in an unbiased manner. It wanted the apex court to annul the High Court’s verdict.

Before the case came up in the Karnataka High Court, a Bangalore trial court in September 2014 had held all of them guilty. They were sentenced to  four years’ jail and even asked to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.

The verdict had wide ramifications on Jayalalithaa’s political career. She was forced to step down as chief minister.

But later, the relief granted to her by the Karnataka High Court enabled her to get back the CM’s chair.

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