Bengaluru | Giving a clean chit to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the Karnataka High Court today held that the judgement and finding recorded by the trial court convicting her and three others suffers from infirmity and it is not sustainable in law.
Acquitting Jayalalithaa and three others of all the charges levelled against them, the single bench judge Justice C R Kumaraswamy set aside the trial court’s conviction, allowing the criminal appeals filed by the four convicts.
In his 919-page judgement, Justice Kumaraswamy also quashed the order of the trial court relating to confiscation of the properties both movable and immovable.
Taking into consideration overall circumstances and material placed on record, in my view, the judgement and finding recorded by the trial court suffers from infirmity and it is not sustainable in law, the judge said in a verdict that has pave the way for Jayalalithaa to return to chief ministership.
On disproportionate assets, the judge held that it is relatively small. In the instant case, the disproportionate asset is less than 10 per cent and it is within permissible limit.
Therefore, the accused are entitled to acquittal. When the principal accused (Jayalalithaa) has been acquitted, the other accused, who have played a lesser role, are also entitled to acquittal, the court said.
The judgement came on appeals filed by Jayalalithaa and three others against the verdict of Special Court Judge John Michael D’Cunha who had on September 27 last held her and three others guilty of corruption. He had awarded four years jail term to them, besides slapping a fine of Rs 100 crore on Jayalalithaa and Rs 10 crore each on three others.