SCs indecision How will this affect Jayalalithaas DA case
news Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 05:30
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa will likely have to wait longer for the Karnataka High Court to pronounce the verdict on a appeal filed by her against the conviction handed over by a lower court in the disproportionate assets case. A Supreme Court bench hearing a petition filed by DMK leader K Anbhazhagan to remove Bhavani Singh as Special Public Prosecutor in the disproportionate case against Jayalalithaa ended with both judges of the bench having divergent views on the issue. More importantly, on the question of whether the Karnataka High Court will need to wait for the larger bench to decide on Jayalalithaa’s fate, Justice Madan B Lokur said that the judge in question could decide as he pleased. So will the Karnataka HC pronounce judgment in the appeal? Unlikely. Technically, the Supreme Court has not stopped Karnataka Judge Kumaraswamy from pronouncing the verdict in the appeal case, but legal experts say it is highly unlikely that the judge will go ahead with the verdict, while a related case is in the Supreme Court. What happened in Supreme Court today? Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice R. Banumathi had contrasting opinions on whether Bhavani Singh must continue as the Special Public Prosecutor in the case in which former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and three others remain convicted. The apex court bench of Justice Lokur and Justice Banumathi said the matter would be heard by a larger bench as Justice Lokur said the appointment of Bhavani Singh vitiated the hearing of the appeal before Karnataka High Court. Justice Lokur strongly opinionated that the continuance of Singh as the prosecutor in the Rs. 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case was a symbol of "failure of criminal justice delivery system", reported The Hindu . Pointing out at the time period of the trial for the case,( it has gone on for 15 years), he said that this was a “classic illustration “ of what was wrong with how justice was meted out in India, said the report. Accusing the justice delivery system of failure, Justice Lokur went on to call the system the ultimate loser in the situation. Justice Banumathi, however, found no infirmity in continuing Bhavani Singh as SPP as he was appointed for the case and his appointment was not revoked by the Karnataka government. In February, DMK leader Anbazhagan had moved the Supreme Court after the Karnataka High Court rejected his petition to remove Bhavani Singh as the SPP in the appeals case filed by Jayalalithaa. With inputs from IANS
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