The Karnataka government today moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its verdict by which it had abated the proceedings in the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late J Jayalalithaa. The state government has said that once the proceedings were abated, it will not be possible to recover the fine of Rs 100 crore imposed on the late leader which was part of the punishment awarded to her in the case.
The apex court had on February 14 convicted current AIADMK chief VK Sasikala and two others in the case while abating the proceedings against Jayalalithaa as she had died. The court had, however, made clear that the fine imposed on her can be recovered.
The apex court had upheld the special trial court verdict which had found disproportionate assets worth Rs 53.60 crore, which Jayalalithaa and the three others could not account for. The CBI had alleged that the unaccounted wealth was to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore.
In its review plea, the state government has contended that the apex court’s February 14 decision to abate the proceedings against Jayalalithaa was an “error apparent on the face of record”. It said a criminal appeal in graft cases is on a different footing as there is allegation of acquisition of disproportionate assets by a public servant.
The plea said that the abatement of proceedings was erroneous as there is no provision either in the Constitution or the Supreme Court rules for it.
Jayalalithaa was sentenced to four year jail term along with Rs 100 crore fine by the Bengaluru court. 60-year-old Sasikala has to serve a jail term of around three-and-half years out of four years awarded by the trial court as she has already spent almost six months in prison.
The conviction of Sasikala’s two relatives V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi were also upheld by the apex court and they were directed to surrender forthwith to serve their four-year term. The apex court had set aside the Karnataka High Court order acquitting all the four accused and had “restored in toto” the trial court’s decision in the 19-year-old case.