Jaya is not a convict, says Supreme Court

Jaya is not a convict, says Supreme Court

Late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa will not be declared a convict in a corruption case, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday, rejecting Karnataka’s request.

“Applications for personal hearing of review petitions before the court are rejected. We have considered the review petitions filed by the State of Karnataka on merits.

In our opinion, no case for review of our order dated February 14, 2017 is made out. Consequently, the review petitions are dismissed on merits,” a bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said.

This, in effect, means that the Rs 100 crore penalty imposed on Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case cannot be recovered.

The SC order in the DA case, that has gone through various trial phases over the last 20 years, was finally pronounced on February 14, 2016. In its order, the apex court upheld the conviction of the four persons accused of accumulating assets disproportionate to their known sources of income – J Jayalalithaa, Sasikala Natarajan, V N Sudhakaran, and Ilavarasi.

The Karnataka government had argued that the court should not go by the date of pronouncement of order, but rather, the date when the court had reserved the case for orders – in June 2016. At that time, Jayalalithaa was alive and healthy. But this plea has now been dismissed.

Seeking to recover Rs 100 crore fine in the Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case, the Karnataka government had filed review petition in the Supreme Court against its verdict that had abated the proceedings against the former Tamil Nadu chief minister due to her death.

“In the case of appeal against conviction, it is settled law that the appeal does not abate if the accused has been sentenced to pay fine either along with imprisonment or otherwise. This principle is equally applicable to the present case where the trial court has imposed on the accused Rs 100 crore fine, along with imprisonment,” the petition had said.