Bengaluru: The Special Bench of Karnataka High Court on Monday began day-to-day hearing of appeals filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three others challenging their conviction in the disproportionate assets case.
Justice Kumaraswamy rejected the plea of Jayalalithaa, seeking adjournment of the case till January 12 to study the copy of the Supreme Court order in the case.
"Already the court has given a month's time to study the order copy. I wouldn't allow this because I have to abide by the Supreme Court order, which has directed the honourable court to conduct the case on day-to-day basis and complete the same in three months from the date of hearing begins," the judge told Jayalalithaa's senior counsel B Kumar.
The Special Bench of Justice C R Kumaraswamy has been set up after the Supreme Court on December 18 last directed the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court to constitute it to decide Jayalalithaa's plea within three months.
As soon as the court assembled, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy made an oral submission, seeking permission to implead himself in the case.
Swamy submitted that he should be permitted to present his arguments before the special bench, citing a Supreme Court order, which allowed him represent in another case.
He also submitted that it was he who had lodged a complaint in a Chennai court in 1996 that led to a probe against Jayalalithaa in what later came to be known as the "disproportionate assets case" in which she was sentenced to undergo four years imprisonment by a Special Court here last year.
Justice Kumaraswamy directed Swamy to file a petition in this regard.
Later, as Swamy spoke to reporters outside the court, he
was reminded that even DMK General Secretary K Anbazhagan had sought permission to intervene as party respondent to assist the Special Public Prosecutor in the case.
Swamy said, "I have nothing to do with DMK because they are also immersed in corruption.I will present my arguments in the court because I want to preserve the sanctity of justice."
Meanwhile, Justice Kumaraswamy admitted a petition filed by six companies, seeking release of their properties attached by the court as they argued that some of the properties, shown as part of the disproportionate assets of Jayalalithaa, actually belonged to them. The plea was filed on January 3.
On Jan 4, Anbazhagan had sought permission before the special bench to intervene as party respondent to assist the Special Public Prosecutor in the case.
Anbazhagan had submitted that he had intervened before the appropriate courts at all stages of the trial "to ensure that justice is not derailed by powerful persons" who were tried for serious corruption charges.
An Apex Court bench, headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, had ordered that the 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.
On Oct 17 last year,the Apex Court had granted conditional bail to Jayalalithaa, who was sent to jail by a trial court on Sept 27, saying that hearing on her appeal against conviction in the High Court should be completed in three months from December 18.
The special court had held Jayalalithaa and three others guilty of corruption. The court had awarded four years jail term and also slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on the AIADMK chief. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 10 crore fine on each of the three other convicts.