Bengaluru: Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Bhavani Singh on Tuesday filed in the Karnataka High Court their objections to DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan’s petition seeking permission to intervene as the party respondent to assist the SPP in a disproportionate assets case against her.
Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy, who is hearing the appeals filed by Jayalalithaa and three others challenging their conviction in the case, enquired about the abilities of Mr. Anbazhagan to fight a legal battle in the court of law.
The Special Bench has been set up after Supreme Court on December 18 last directed the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court to constitute it to decide Ms. Jayalalithaa’s appeal within three months.
“Is he (Anbazhagan) a lawyer? Does he have any training in fighting a legal battle in the court under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act?” Justice Kumaraswamy asked.
“Has he (Anbazhagan) made any research on the matter. This will not lead anywhere.” Moreover, it would be against the law to allow Anbazhagan to intervene as the party respondent to assist SPP in the case,” the judge said.
Mr. Anbazhagan, in his petition, had submitted that he had intervened before the appropriate courts at all stages of the trial “to ensure that justice is not derailed by powerful persons” who were tried for serious corruption charges.
As the special bench assembled for the seventh day, Jayalalithaa’s counsel L. Nageswara Rao contended that the trial court had overlooked several judgements and not considered the binding nature of various income tax orders and decisions of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, which had accepted the income and level of expenditure pleaded by her.
Mr. Rao said the charge of amassing wealth against Jayalalithaa during 1991-96 when she was Chief Minister for the first time was false and she had acquired property through legal means.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu had ordered that the hearing in the High Court on the appeal filed by Ms. Jayalalithaa challenging her conviction and sentence in the case, be conducted on a day-to-day basis.
On October 17 last year, the apex court had granted conditional bail to Jayalalithaa, who was sent to jail by a trial court on September 27, saying that hearing on her appeal against conviction in the High Court should be completed in three months from December 18.
The trial court had held Ms. Jayalalithaa and three others guilty of corruption and awarded four years jail term and also slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on her.