A special court hearing the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case against J Jayalalithaa rejected a plea of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister seeking four weeks for presenting arguments in her defence.
The court said that Jayalalithaa, who had last year insisted before another judge on concluding arguments in the case through day to day hearings, could not now seek an adjournment. While rejecting her plea, it questioned the inconsistent stand taken by the AIADMK leader.
Special judge John Michael Cunha fixed March 21 as the date for the prosecution to begin its arguments and stated that the defence for Jayalalithaa would need to begin arguments on March 25.
With elections around the corner, the trial has assumed significance, especially with the concerned parties keen on pushing the trial beyond the election dates in April.
On Friday, the special judge had asked the special public prosecutor to pay Rs 60,000 as costs for each day that the trial is delayed after the lawyer sought a 10-day adjournment to recover from an illness and refused to allow his assistant to argue the case in his absence.
The unprecedented fine prescribed by the special court amounts to the appearance fee paid to the special public prosecutor, Bhawani Singh, by the state for every hearing he attends in the court.
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