The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that that charges against J Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case will stand abated.
The apex court rejected a review petition filed by the Karnataka government challenging the ‘abatement’ of its appeal in the DA case.
The SC, on 14 February, sentenced Sasikala and two other accused in the case – Sudhakaran and Ilaivarasi – to four years in prison, but abated charges against Jayalalithaa, since the leader had passed away before the court passed its judgement.
Karnataka had argued that Jayalalithaa may not be able to serve the four-year jail sentence, but the Rs 100 crore fine imposed on her by a special court in September 2014, should be recovered.
Karnataka, in its review petition, called the judgment by Amitava Roy and PC Ghose an "error on the face of the record", which merits a relook.
It said that there were no provisions in the constitution or in the SC rules of 2013 for such an abatement of appeal in case of an accused's death.
The review petition said:
If a party dies after the conclusion of arguments and judgment is reserved, there is no question of abatement of appeal and that the judgement subsequently pronounced will have the same force and effect as if the same was pronounced before the death took place.
Special public prosecutor for Karnataka BV Acharya told the Economic Times:
The arguments on the case were concluded in July. The judgement was reserved only for the convenience of the judges. The judgement has upheld the trial court order convicting her. Just because she is dead, it is wrong in law to abate charges against her.
(This article was originally published in The News Minute.)