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Supreme Court resolves to conduct day-to-day hearing in Jayalalithaa DA case

Jaya in SCNovember,24,2015: The Apex Court asks parties to flag issues they want to highlight by January 8, 2016.

Countering Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s contention that the appeal against her acquittal is misconceived and baseless, the Karnataka government said its State High Court’s verdict acquitting her in the disproportionate assets case cannot be considered as “a judgment at all in the eyes of the law”.

The scathing rejoinder slamming the High Court verdict of acquittal was filed in the apex court shortly after a bench of Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and R.K. Agrawal asked the parties involved to file the issues they want to highlight in their respective arguments before January 8, the next date of hearing.

In the rejoinder, the Karnataka government said though the judgment is lengthy, it is devoid of any proper or definite findings on relevant issues. The government said its High Court simply failed in its duty to perform the role of court of appeal in the high stakes case. The judgment was given by ignoring material evidence on record and settled principles of law.

The State’s appeal had described the High Court judgment delivered on May 11 by Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy of the High Court as “cryptic, lacks reasoning and illogical”. It had ridiculed the calculations arrived at by the judge, which resulted in the exoneration of Ms. Jayalalithaa and three co-accused – N. Sasikala Natarajan, V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Elavarasi – in the corruption case.

In the rejoinder, the State pointed at how the High Court referred to only 96 of as many as 256 sale deeds produced on record by the prosecution to show that the accused persons, including Jayalalithaa, instigated and conspired together to acquire lands and immovable assets.

Ms. Jayalalithaa’s counter in the SC had said the charges of conspiracy and abetment made against her are not established and at best a “myth”.

Re-affirming its role as the sole prosecuting agency in the case, Karnataka the State questioned the “anxiety” of the accused persons to continue with the DVAC as the prosecuting agency.

“The contention (by the accused) that the State of Karnataka ought to have filed the appeal only after obtaining concurrence or consent of the DVAC is contrary to law as settled by the Supreme Court and respondent number 1 (Jayalalithaa) is raising this contention, as DVAC is under the control of the government, of which the respondent number 1 is the Chief Minister,” the rejoinder said.

The State said accused persons, as they claim, do not have any “untrammelled right not to be vexed again once there is an order of acquittal”.

It reiterated the contention that the High Court committed a grave mistake in totalling the 10 items of loans by arriving at a figure of Rs. 24,17,31,274, when on proper totalling, the same ought to be Rs. 10,67,31,274.

“To say that there is no such calculation mistake is nothing short of saying that black is white,” the State government said.

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