Setback for Jayalalithaa as SC refuses to stay trial against her in DA case
Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: In a major setback for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected her plea seeking the suspension of trial in the disproportionate assets (DA) case against her.
The order was passed by the apex court bench of Justice JS Khehar and Justice C Nagappan.
"We find no merit, plea dismissed," the apex court bench said, dealing a blow to the Chief Minister.
In her plea, Jayalalithaa had pleaded the court that trial in the DA case should not proceed till the ownership of the immovable assets shown to be her benami possession was decided as directed by the Madras High Court.
The apex court had earlier issued notice to DMK leader K Anbalagan, seeking vacation of stay so that trial in the DA case against Jayalalithaa and others could go on uninterrupted.
Besides, the court gave a week`s time to Tamil Nadu vigilance and anti-corruption department to file their response to Jayalalithaa`s plea that trial in the DA case be put on hold till the claims over immovable properties was decided by a Bangalore special court.
But on Monday, the Tamil Nadu Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department opposed the Chief Minister`s plea.
The department in its response to Jayalalithaa`s plea told the Supreme Court that "since the petition for attachment (before the special court, Bangalore) is being withdrawn, the Special Leave Petition (by Jayalalithaa and others) will now become infructuous"
Appearing for the department, senior counsel Amarendra Saran told the bench of Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh that Jayalalithaa`s plea was "only a device to postpone the hearing".
The department said that it was withdrawing its application for the attachment of these properties as same have already been seized by it and are in the custody of the special court, where the trial in DA case has been going on from 2010 and has reached the fag end.
At this Jayalalithaa`s counsel Shekhar Naphde opposed the plea saying that they could not withdraw the application for attachment of immoveable properties, which are the bone of contention between the vigilance department and the Lex Property Developer P. Ltd. and others staking claim over the properties.
At the outset of the hearing, Justice Sen inquired from Naphade if he had any objection to his hearing the matter as he has already dealt the matter as chief justice of the Karnataka High court.
The court later adjourned the hearing till June 17 as it wanted to go through the papers.
On May 26, the apex court had stayed the trial in DA case against Jayalalithaa and three others involving Rs 66.65 crores and relating to the period from 1991 to 1996.
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