Bengaluru: Karnataka High Court Judge Justice Abdul Nazir on Wednesday referred back the petition filed by DMK's K Anbazhagan, seeking discontinuation of Bhavani Singh as SPP, to the Special Bench hearing appeals filed by former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa and three others challenging their conviction in a disproportionate assets case.
"Since the appeals filed by defendants, challenging their conviction in the disproportionate assets case, is being heard by Justice CR Kumaraswamy, I refer this petition (filed by Anbazhagan) back to the Special Bench, which is conducting the case as per Supreme Court order," Justice Nazir said.
Justice Nazir said Justice D H Waghela, Chief Justice, would, however, pass orders (on alloting Anbazhagan's petition).
On January 7, Justice Kumaraswamy had warned Anbazhagan of action for contempt of court for disturbing court proceedings after he had submitted a memo seeking removal of Singh as Special Public Prosecutor.
Justice Kumaraswamy had then directed Anbazhagan to get an order from the High Court as his job was only to hear the appeals filed by Jayalalithaa and three others challenging their conviction.
Karnataka government has said it has no proposal to replace Singh as the matter is not under its purview.
The state government has nothing to do with Singh's appointment as the issue does not fall under our purview but under the Supreme Court's purview, and it is left to it, State Law Minister T B Jayachandra had said.
Anbazhagan argued that Singh was not appointed by the state government as per the Supreme Court guidelines, but by Chennai-based Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), under the control of AIADMK government, whose party's supreme leader Jayalalithaa was the main accused.
He had also contended that the government has to issue a fresh order of appointment as the case is now before the high court after it was concluded in the lower court.
DVAC had appointed Singh as SPP only to argue before the special court, not before the special bench of High Court and hence he should be removed and replaced by someone else by Karnataka Government through a fresh order, Anbazhagan had argued.
A Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu had ordered that hearing in the High Court on the appeal filed by Jayalalithaa challenging her conviction and sentence in the case, be conducted on a day-to-day basis and completed in three months from December 18.
Jayalalithaa and three others were held guilty of corruption and awarded four years jail term by the Special Court here, which had also slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on her and Rs 10 crore each on three others.