Seeking to restrain J Jayalalithaa from holding the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s office, the Karnataka government on Tuesday challenged in the Supreme Court her acquittal in a corruption case and called the propitious order “illegal” and “a gross miscarriage of justice”.
In its appeal, Karnataka government, which became the prosecuting agency after the trial was shifted there from Tamil Nadu on the orders of the top court, has sought an interim order to keep the AIADMK chief disqualified from holding the political office till its appeal is finally decided. It said the “erroneous decision” has “illegally erased” the effect of conviction under corruption charges, which provides for disqualification under the Representation of the People Act.
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“The charges are grave. The order of acquittal has resulted in gross miscarriage of justice. A serious totalling mistake has resulted in acquittal instead of an order confirming the conviction, apart from many other serious infirmities in the order. If this judgment is not stayed, it would result in travesty of justice,” stated the petition, filed through advocate Joseph Aristotle.
The appeal contended that the entire proceeding before the Karnataka High Court against the conviction and four-year jail term by Jayalalithaa was “vitiated” since the state did not get opportunity to orally argue the case despite being the prosecuting agency. It pointed out the prosecutor’s appointment by the Tamil Nadu was held as bad in law by the apex court but Karnataka still did not get a chance to argue.
On merits, the appeal stated, the HC order of May 11 resulted in a faulty decision that the disproportionate assets in this case were only to the extent of 8.12 per cent of her income when it actually works out to be 76.7 per cent.
Further, the appeal said, that even going by the mathematical mistakes and erroneous calculation by the HC, the disproportionate assets exceeded by more than 34 per cent.
“The judgment lacks reasoning, is not logical and is cryptic… the conclusions reached are bordering on perversity and is therefore liable to be set aside,” read the petition, adding the HC erred in calculating the value of buildings, expenditure on marriage of her foster son, loans, gifts, incomes from some commercial entities etc.
The appeal has been filed merely four days before Jayalalithaa faces an electoral test. She is contesting the assembly bypoll from the Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK Nagar) constituency in north Chennai.