Written by Staff Writer
01 Oct, 2014 | 9:49 am
A vacation bench of the Karnataka high court will on Wednesday hear the bail petitions of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and three others found guilty in the disproportionate assets case. Justice Rathnakala will hear their petitions on a special order issued by the chief justice.
The appellants have sought suspension of the sentence and release on bail. A special court had on Saturday sentenced them to four years in prison.
In a related development, the Karnataka government appointed G Bhavani Singh to appear on behalf of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, the respondent prosecuting agency.
Jayalalithaa, her close aide Sasikala Natarajan and relatives V N Sudhakaran and J Elavarasi are lodged in the Parappana Agrahara central prison since Saturday after being convicted in the disproportionate assets case under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Besides serving time in jail, they will have to pay hefty fines.
On Tuesday morning, Jayalalithaa’s hope for early relief was dashed when the high court adjourned the matter to October 6. Justice Rathnakala, sitting as the vacation judge, adjourned the hearing to October 6 after Singh, who had appeared as special public prosecutor (SPP) during the trial, informed the court he had not received any communication from the Karnataka government regarding him continuing as SPP.
“I have no instructions to appear. I have read in the newspapers that the government has appointed me SPP. But I have not received any communication in this regard,” Singh said.
After his submission, the judge adjourned the proceedings to October 6, stating that the court cannot pass any order without a formal objection/representation from the respondent. She said she cannot issue notice to Singh to appear as SPP as there is no guarantee that he would be appointed.
Appearing for Jayalalithaa, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani requested that the matter be taken up urgently, promising he would present the facts before the court.
The court was told Jayalalithaa had been on bail all along the trial period, and “gross injustice” had been done to her by the special court’s order, which is “unsustainable”. The presence of an SPP is not necessary considering the quantum of sentence.
After hearing the submissions, the judge observed that if they want an early hearing, they were at liberty to move the chief justice for the same.
Much jostling was witnessed in the court hall 11 as a large number of lawyers from Tamil Nadu rushed in. Though it was the only sitting of the vacation bench, the court was packed with advocates claiming to represent Jayalalithaa and the other convicts. It took some time for Jethmalani and other senior advocates to reach to the front row. Some advocates were seen making their submissions from the back benches because they could not reach the front row.
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18 Oct, 2014 | 03:44 PM
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