Jaya case: Karnataka files appeal in SC, southern politics heats up

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015,17:24 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Karnataka government today moved the Supreme Court against the state High Court verdict acquitting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case.
Jayalalithaa’s acquittal by the Karnataka High Court resulted in miscarriage of justice. ”The High Court order is a farce and illegal, the Karnataka government said in its appeal.
The High Court on May 11 had acquitted the AIADMK supremo in the 19-year-old DA case against her after noting that the conviction suffered from infirmity and was not sustainable in law.
It had found that there was no evidence that while in office, Ms Jayalalithaa had accumulated more than Rs 60 crore that could not be explained by her declared income. Ms Jayalalithaa returned to office as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after she was found innocent in the DA case.
The 19-year-old DA case against the former movie star was transferred from Tamil Nadu to neighbouring Karnataka in 2003 to ensure the trial would not be adversely affected by the influence of either Ms Jayalalithaa or her political opponents.
A Special Court in Karnataka had found Ms Jayalalithaa and three others guilty of corruption in the DA case. It sentenced the AIADMK chief to four years of rigorous imprisonment besides slapping a fine of Rs 100 crore on her and Rs 10 crore fine on each of the three other convicts.
Ms Jayalalithaa had challenged the lower court order in the Karnataka HC, which had quashed the verdict and set her free in the case. A Chennai report said the opposition DMK welcomed the appeal filed by the Karnataka Government.
DMK sources said it was a fit case for appeal. ”We expected that Karnataka Government will go on appeal. ”That has happened, but a bit late”, the sources said.
Pointing out that DMK has the right to implead itself in the case, the sources said a decision in this regard would be taken by the party high command.
In September last year, a trial court convicted Ms Jayalalithaa, following which she lost her MLA and the Chief Minister’s post. However, on an appeal filed by her, the Karnataka High Court had on May 11 this year acquitted Ms Jayalalithaa from the case.
Special Prosecutor B V Acharya cited some arithmetic errors in the High Court judgement evaluating Ms Jayalalithaa’s assets resulting in her acquittal.
Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, subsequently, urged the Karnataka Government to go on appeal in the case. In the meantime, Ms Jayalalithaa, following her acquittal, assumed office as Chief Minister for the fifth time on May 23.
Since she has to get elected to the Assembly within six months as per rules, she would be contesting the June 27 by-election to RK Nagar constituency in the city..
The seat was vacated by P Vetrivel to enable her to contest the state Assembly. During her campaign last night, Ms Jayalalithaa said the by-election was forced on the people due to the conspiracy by her political rivals.