Karnataka government to appeal against Jayalalithaa acquittal in disproportionate assets case

The decision to challenge the May 11 verdict by Justice C R Kumaraswamy of the Karnataka High Court was taken at a cabinet meeting.

Bengaluru | Updated: June 2, 2015 9:24 am
Jayalalithaa, Karnataka government, Jayalalithaa Karnataka The decision to challenge the May 11 verdict by Justice C R Kumaraswamy of the Karnataka High Court was taken at a cabinet meeting.

A cabinet meeting of the Congress government in Karnataka Monday cleared a decision to file an appeal before the Supreme Court against the acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in a disproportionate assets case.

Jayalalithaa, who was handed a four-year prison term by a trial court in September 2014, was acquitted by the Karnataka High Court on May 11.

Following the acquittal, Special Public Prosecutor in the case B V Acharya recommended filing an appeal in the Supreme Court. The decision was also vetted by state advocate general Ravi Varma Kumar.

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On Monday, the state cabinet took a formal decision to file the appeal.

Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, the state’s Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra said the cabinet had decided to retain Acharya as Special Prosecutor, while appointing Sandesh Chouta to assist him in the Supreme Court.

Dismissing suggestions that the Congress high command had delayed giving the go-ahead for the appeal, the minister said the Karnataka government had nothing personal against Jayalalithaa.

“It has nothing to do with bilateral relationship of the two states. In two cases, the Supreme Court has noted that the case was the responsibility of Karnataka. On one occasion, the court noted that once the case was transferred to Karnataka, it would step into the shoes of Tamil Nadu. The state of Karnataka has obligations and authority to appoint its own prosecutor. In another case, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court noted that Karnataka was the sole prosecution agency in the case. So, it is the duty of the state to file an appeal,’’ Jayachandra said.

Asked why the government took so long to take the decision, the minister said that “certain clarifications had to be placed before the cabinet”.

“The government also has 90 days time to go for an appeal,” he said. “Karnataka is not the petitioner in the case, the petitioner is Dr Subramanian Swamy and the case has been transferred to Karnataka.”

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