The Karnataka High Court will hear tomorrow jailed former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s application seeking immediate bail and suspension of conviction and jail sentence in the disproportionate assets case.
After the vacation bench of the court this morning adjourned the bail plea to October 6, lawyers for Jayalalithaa headed by Ram Jethmalani approached the court Registrar for an urgent hearing in the matter.
Chief Justice Justice D H Waghela then allowed the plea following which the court will tomorrow hear the former chief minister’s application, her lawyers said.
When the matter came up before the vacation bench this morning as the court is observing dasara holidays, Jethmalani pleaded for suspending the sentence pending appeal under Section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code and for her release on bail.
Section 389 states that pending any appeal by a convicted person, the Appellate Court may order that the execution of the sentence or order appealed against be suspended. Also, if the person is in confinement, that he or she be released on bail, or on own bond.
G Bhavani Singh, who was Special Public Prosecutor in the Special Court in the disproportionate assets case, told the judge that he had not yet received any official notification appointing him as the SPP for the criminal appeal filed in the High Court.
I have read a report appearing in a daily about my appointment as the SPP to handle the case, but I haven’t received any official notification appointing me as the SPP, he said. Since I haven’t received the notification, I am not authorised to represent the case, Singh added.
Singh sought more time at which point the vacation bench of Justice Rathnakala posted the matter for October 6. In her petitions seeking immediate bail and challenging her sentence, Jayalalithaa has maintained that the charges of amassing wealth against her were false and that she had acquired property through legal means.
Jayalalitha has also contended that the trial court has overlooked several judgements and has not considered the binding nature of various income tax orders and decisions of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, which had accepted the income and the level of expenditure pleaded by her.
The pleas of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s aide Sasikala, her relatives V N Sudhakaran, disowned son of the former Chief Minister, and Ilavarasi, who have also moved the High Court seeking bail and challenging their conviction, were also posted for hearing on October 6.
In a verdict on Saturday at the end of an 18-year old legal battle, Special Judge John Michael D’Cunha had convicted Jayalalithaa, sentencing her to four years imprisonment, and slapped a staggering fine of Rs 100 crore in the Rs 66.65 crore corruption case.
In her appeal, Jayalalithaa pleaded for suspension of the conviction and the sentence and also refused to pay the Rs 100 crore fine imposed on her.
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