The trial in the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa resumed in a special court in Bangalore Thursday. Judge G Mudigoudar,who has taken over after the September 30 retirement of regular judge M S Balakrishna,sought the presence of all accused,including Jayalalithaa at the next hearing on October 30.
The trial in the case involving acquisition of disproportionate assets worth Rs 66.65 crore by Jayalalithaa in her first tenure as the chief minister between 1991 and 1996,was stalled for over a month after a dispute over withdrawal of special prosecutor Bhavani Singh by the Karnataka government.
The withdrawal following a plea by DMK leader K Anbazhagan,who said Bhavani Singh was not pleading the case well to favour Jayalalithaa,was challenged by the AIADMK in the Supreme Court (SC) last month. The SC reinstated the prosecutor on September 30 and he appeared in court Thursday.
His services have,however,not been officially renewed by the Karnataka government.
The SC also asked the state government to consider extending the service of Balakrishna. Legal department sources said the judge,however,expressed reluctance,saying his name was vitiated in the course of the case against the withdrawal of Bhavani Singh.
DMK had said Balakrishna was favouring Jayalalithaa. A final decision on re-appointment of the former judge or appointment of a new one will be taken by Chief Justice Siddaramaiah.
The trial has crossed the evidence stage and final arguments are on.
The case against Jayalalithaa initiated in 1997 by the DMK government in Tamil Nadu was transferred to Karnataka by the SC in 2003 on a plea by Anbazhagan. The DMK accused the AIADMK,which returned to power in May 2001,of subverting the case to seek the transfer.
The original prosecutor in the case in Karnataka B V Acharya quit in August 2012 accusing the then BJP government in the state of seeking his ouster to further political ties with the AIADMK.
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