Bengaluru: DMK General Secetary K Anbazhagan on Tuesday filed a petition before a special bench of the Karnataka High Court, seeking removal of Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh in the disproportionate assets case against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three others, alleging he was "sailing" with the accused.
As soon as the court began its second day of day-to-day hearing, Anbazhagan's counsel sought removal of Singh from presenting arguments as he alleged that the SPP was "sailing" with the accused and not presenting the facts properly.
"I plead before the court to take a step in replacing the SPP with some other prosecutor because he has not been presenting the facts relating to the case properly and is 'sailing' with the accused (in this case Jayalalithaa and her aides)," Anbazhagan's counsel submitted before Justice CR Kumraswamy here.
Yesterday, Justice Kumaraswamy had directed Singh to file a counter in the next two days to the petition filed by Anbazhagan who sought permission before the special bench to intervene as party respondent to assist him in the case.
Singh had said that when complainant Subramanian Swamy presents his arguments in the case, there is no role for Anbazhagan and without him the courts had earlier passed orders.
Anbazhagan had also 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.
Presenting agruments before the court, Jayalalithaa's senior counsel B Kumar submitted that the prosecution has inflated the value of luxurious properties, jewellery and money spent on her estranged foster son V N Sudhakaran's marriage ceremony.
The trial court or the special, court which convicted
Jayalalithaa and three others and sentenced them to undergo four years imprisonment, had pegged the marriage expenses incurred by Jayalalithaa at Rs three crore.
Sudhakaran's marriage, dubbed as the "mother of all weddings", was held in 1995 when Jayalalithaa was the Chief Minister and had raised a huge controversy, inviting public criticism for ostentation, protests and petitions to court.
Kumar also questioned the veracity of the translation of Tamil document into English by saying that the translation was incorrect, inaccurate and that it did not reflect the true stag of the trial when it was held in Tamil Nadu.
The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), Chennai, had initially investigated and filed the charge sheet against Jayalalithaa and others.
When the case was handed over to a special court (37th Sessions Court) in Bangalore, all the documents relating to the disproportionate assets case had to be translated from Tamil to English. The translation exercise took several months and it was done by a team of people knowing Tamil.
The Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court had on January 1 set up the special bench of Justice Kumaraswamy to hear the appeals filed by Jayalalithaa and three others who had challenged their conviction in the case.
The special bench has been set up after the Supreme Court had on December 18 last directed the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court to constitute it to decide Jayalalithaa's plea within three months.
An apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice HL 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 October 17 last year, the apex court had granted conditional bail to Jayalalithaa, who was sent to jail by a trial court on September 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 had also slapped a fine of Rs 10 crore on each of the three others who were also sentenced to undergo four years imprisonment.