Bangalore: Appointed to head the special court trying the disproportionate asset case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Special Judge B M Mallikarjunaiah today heard pleas of the accused claiming legal infirmity in his appointment.
After giving a partial hearing of the pleas made by the counsel for Jayalalithaa and other accused, Special Judge Mallikarjunaiah adjourned the hearing for tomorrow.
Appearing for Jayalalithaa, senior counsel B Kumar’s questioned Mallikarjunaiah’s appointment as special judge, contending that the state government has not issued any specific notification for his appointment as stipulated by the section 3(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Kumar said after previous judge A S Pachapure’s elevation to the Karnataka High Court, only the high court has issued a notification, appointing him (ASJ Mallikarjunaiah) as special judge, while no notification by the state government has been issued.
In the absence of a notification by the state government under section 3(1) of the PC Act, such an appointment becomes “invalid”, Kumar contended.
“Government notification is a sine qua non without which no person can function as the Special Judge,” he said.
Citing the state government order of December 28, 2003, he submitted that the original appointment of Justice A S Pachapure as a special judge was only by (his) name and for appointment of special judge under section 3(1) of the PC Act, the power vests only with the state of Karnataka and not the high court.
Such an appointment has to be made by the state government in concurrence with the high court.