File image of VK Sasikala (L) with Late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa. (Image: Reuters)
New Delhi: Supreme Court on Monday said that it would deliver its verdict in the disproportionate asset case on former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa within a week. AIADMK general secretary and chief minster-in-waiting VK Sasikala is also co-accused in the case.
The judgment is set to be pronounced by a two member bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Amitabha Roy.
The case was filed in 1996 after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint against Jayalalithaa. Jayalalithaa was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1996, for allegedly amassing unaccounted wealth.
In 2015, the Congress government in Karnataka moved the apex court in 2015 after the State high court acquitted her in the case. A special court in Bengaluru had earlier found her guilty and sentenced her to four years of imprisonment along with her close aide Sasikala. Although Jayalalithaa had to temporarily step down as the CM, she soon came back to power in the 2016 assembly elections.
On June 7, 2016, the Supreme Court had reserved its judgment on the appeal by Karnataka government challenging the high court’s order of acquittal for Jayalalithaa, VK Sasikala, Ilavarasi and VN Sudhakaran.
On an earlier occasion, BV Acharya, the special public prosecutor in the case had told News18 that “Jayalalithaa’s death will have “no bearing on the judgment of the apex court”.
Acharya believes that now the apex court has to deliver a judgment on merits.
“Whether the SC decides to reiterate the High Court verdict which acquitted all of them, or uphold the trial court verdict by convicting them again, the judgment must be reasoned with merits to show whether they are involved in a conspiracy in amassing illegal wealth or not,” he said.
Acharya said that if the apex court rules in favour of the prosecution, then not only could Sasikala and others land in jail paying a fine, but there would also be an order of confiscation of properties by the government.