Karnataka moves SC against Jayalalithaa’s acquittal



New Delhi: The Karnataka government on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the state high court’s verdict acquitting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, her aide Sasikala Natrajan and two others in a case of disproportionate assets.

The Karnataka government has urged the apex court to stay the operation of the May 11 verdict.

“Pass an ex-parte ad-interim order of stay, staying the operation of impugned final judgment and order of May 11,” a petition by the Karnataka government said in its prayer for interim relief.

The Karnataka government contended that the high court committed a “grave mistake” in arriving at a figure of Rs.24,17,31,274 while a total of 10 loans taken by Jayalalithaa and others and the companies they were associated with was Rs.10,67,31,274.

It is because of this “grave mistake” in the calculation that the high court erroneously concluded that the disproportionate assets were only to the extent of 8.12 percent of the income whereas it was 76.7 percent.

Contending that the reversal by the high court of the trial court verdict convicting Jayalalithaa had resulted in “miscarriage of justice”, the Karnataka government said that apart from other infirmities, the “grave mistake” had led to the acquittal of Jayalalithaa and others including V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Elavarasi.

The Karnataka government has questioned whether Jayalalithaa’s appeal against the trial court order convicting her and others was maintainable without making Karnataka a respondent.

The state has contended that because Jayalalithaa and the others did not make the Karnataka government a party to the case, it could not appoint a public prosecutor to pursue it.

The trial court in Bengaluru on Sep 27 convicted Jayalalithaa of possessing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income and awarded four jail terms and fined her Rs.100 crore.

The case dates to the period from 1991 to 1996 when Jayalalithaa was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.