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SC dismisses Jayalalithaa`s plea for quashing DA case

The AIADMK chief is accused of amassing Rs 66.65 crore between 1991 and 1996 as Tamil Nadu CM.



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J
Jayalalithaa seeking quashing of a disproportionate assets
case, trial in which is to commence in Karnataka.

A bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and SS
Nijjar dismissed the plea of the AIADMK supremo that the
Karnataka High Court had erred while holding that the trial
court order taking cognisance of the complaint on June 5,
1997, did not suffer from any illegality or irregularity.

The apex court had on March 19 refused to stay the
trial in the 14-year-old case while directing the trial court
to fix a time frame for cross examination of the 42 witnesses
after giving sufficient opportunity to Jayalalithaa.

The AIADMK supremo had approached the apex court
challenging the March 10 verdict of the Karnataka High Court.

The case was transferred to a Bangalore court by the
Supreme Court in 2003 during her chief ministership on a
petition by DMK leader K Anbazhagan saying the manner in which
the Chennai trial court had proceeded with the case raised
doubts over a free and fair trial.

Assailing the March 10 order of the High Court,
Jayalalithaa had submitted the chargesheet did not make out
any case against her.

The petition had said the Special Judge, Chennai, had
not applied his mind and had mechanically taken cognisance of
the chargesheet of June 5, 1997. It had also alleged that the
case was transferred at the instance of her political rivals
in Tamil Nadu.

The AIADMK chief is accused of amassing Rs 66.65 crore
between 1991 and 1996 when she was the chief minister of Tamil
Nadu.

Her appeal had pointed out that the High Court did not
address the specific issues raised by her and, hence, its
order was unsustainable in law.

The High Court had rejected Jayalalithaa`s plea for
quashing a 1997 order of a Chennai trial court which took
cognisance of Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and
Anti-Corruption`s complaint that she amassed wealth
disproportionate to her known sources of income during that
period.

The High Court had said Jayalalithaa was "ably
represented by eminent lawyers" and had participated in the
trial of the case during which 200 witnesses were examined and
cross-examined over a 13-year period.

"It is not open for her now to seek quashing of the
proceedings on the premise that the order taking cognisance
of the offence passed on June 5, 1997, is a nullity and is not
in accordance with law," it had said in the order.

PTI

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