In a setback to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed her petition to stall the trial against her in the disproportionate assets case pending in a Bangalore court. The court also lifted the stay on her trial and gave liberty to the special court to decide the case on merits.
A bench of Justices Vikramajit Sen and S K Singh junked Jayalalithaa’s plea to stay her trial till the lower court decides the plea of a company, which has claimed that that some of the properties, shown as part of the disproportionate assets of the CM, belonged to it.
Jayalalithaa faces charges of accumulation of over Rs 66 crore worth of assets disproportionate to her known sources of income. Besides Jayalalithaa, V K Sasikala, V N Sudhakaran and J Illavarasi are also facing trial in the case.
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The case was shifted to Bangalore in 2003 following a Supreme Court order on a petition alleging that a fair trial was not possible in Chennai during her tenure as CM then.
The CM had sought a stay on the trial till the lower court decides the plea of Lex Property Development (P) Ltd, a Chennai-based firm. The company has claimed that the properties, which have been attached by the authorities as ‘benami’ holdings of Jayalalithaa, in fact, belonged to it and said this plea be decided first before the lower court proceeds with the trial in the assets case.