Jayalalithaa DA case: SC to hear review petition today

Jayalalithaa DA case: SC to hear review petition today
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New Delhi, April 5: The Supreme Court bench will take up the review petition filed by the Karnataka government, challenging the abatement of its appeal in Jayalalithaa’s Disproportionate Assets (DA) case, on Wednesday.

The bench would be deciding the petition by circulation and shall consider the request for ‘personal hearing’ of the case. The Karnataka government has moved the Supreme Court during last month, seeking a review of the February 14 judgement holding that the appeal in the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case against former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa has abated after her death on December 5, 2016.

In its review petition, Karnataka described the judgement as an “error on the face of the record” which merits a relook.

It said, “If a party dies after the conclusion of arguments and judgment is reserved, there is no question of abatement of appeal and that the judgement subsequently pronounced will have the same force and effect as if the same was pronounced before the death took place.”

On February 14, the Supreme Court court held Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi guilty of abetment in the DA case and convicted them to undergo four-year imprisonment. They are now in Parappana Agrahara Central prison in Bengaluru. On Jayalalithaa, the Bench said the appeal has come to an end.

About this ruling, Karnataka opined that “there are no provisions either in the Constitution or in the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 for such abatement of appeal. In other words, the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 provide that both in the case of civil appeals, as well as election petitions, there will be no abatement if the death takes place after the conclusion of hearing.”

It said, “A criminal appeal involving offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act stands on a slightly different footing where the allegation is of acquisition of disproportionate assets by a public servant. In the circumstances, though the death of the accused no 1 (Jayalalithaa) administer sentence of imprisonment infructuous, the question whether any fine is liable to be imposed as also confiscation of illegally acquired property will survive for consideration.”
Karnataka urged the Supreme Court to modify its February 14 judgment and restore the trial court verdict in its entirety against Jayalalithaa.