New Delhi: AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa breathed a sigh of relief as the Supreme Court on Thursday extended bail of the ex-Tamil Nadu chief minister by four more months in the disproportionate assets case.
While hearing Jaya's plea, apex court bench comprising of Chief Justice HL Dattu asked Chief Justice of Karnataka HC to constitute a special bench to expeditiously decide Jayalalithaa's appeal within 3 months.
Noting that Jayalalithaa had complied with its Oct 17 order of filing her appeal in the high court along with all the documents, an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu asked the chief justice of the Karnataka high court to constitute a special bench that will hear the appeal on a day-to-day basis and complete the hearing within three months from Thursday.
"Keeping in view the facts of the case, we request the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court to constitute a special bench for hearing of appeal on day-to-day basis. The hearing should be completed within three months," the bench, also comprising Justice AK Sikri, said.
"The bail granted by this court on October 17 is extended by another four months, that is, till April 18, 2015," the bench said.
It also asked senior advocate KTS Tulsi, appearing for Jayalalithaa, who was awarded four years jail term along with a fine of Rs 100 crore in the DA case, to provide a copy of documents of the case to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
Swamy, during the brief hearing, raised the issue of law and order in Tamil Nadu, saying the posters of the slain LTTE chief Prabhakaran are being pasted across the state.
"We gave you (Swamy) the liberty that if there is anything against you, you just mention that before us. We will take a call," the bench said.
Earlier, the SC had granted bail to Jayalalithaa on a condition that her appeal against conviction in the High Court should be completed in five months.
While granting bail to Jayalalithaa, N.Sasikala, VN Sudhakaran, and J Elasvarasi Oct 17, the apex court had said that they would complete their appeal with all relevant documents before the high court in a matter of two months and, thereafter, it will ask the high court to expedite and complete the hearing on the appeal within three months.
Listing the matter Dec 18, the apex court had then said if they don't file their appeal along with documents in the high court in this period, then "you will not get the liberty of a day more".
The AIADMK leader had moved the apex court after the High Court refused to suspend the sentence of four years simple imprisonment awarded by the trial court in Bangalore in the illegal assets case.
A trial court in Bangalore convicted Jayalalithaa Sep 27 for possessing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income and sentenced her to four jail term and Rs.100 crore fine. The case, which went on for about 18 years, related to the period 1991-1996 when she became chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time and involved Rs.66.65 crore.
The Karnataka High Court had Oct 7 declined bail to Jayalalithaa and the three others in the case.