Disproportionate assets case: Cash gifts to Jayalalithaa not lawful source of income, says Karnataka - Firstpost
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Disproportionate assets case: Cash gifts to Jayalalithaa not lawful source of income, says Karnataka


New Delhi: Karnataka government on Wednesday raised questions in the Supreme Court about crores of rupees allegedly received as gifts by AIADMK Chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa from party cadres on her birthdays, saying these earnings cannot be said to be from "lawful source of income".

Continuing his arguments, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who is appearing for Karnataka in the disproportionate assets case, questioned the methodology adopted by the High Court in computing assets of Jayalalithaa.

"Can the Rs 1.5 crore received from (party) cadres as gifts on birthdays be said to be lawful source of income. It can't be. Then tomorrow every politician will go and do the same thing. All the politicians are revered by their cadres," Dave told the bench of justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. AFP

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. AFP

The Karnataka government is arguing its appeal in the case as the trial was shifted from Tamil Nadu and a Bangalore court had convicted the accused including Jayalalithaa who had succeeded in her challenge before the High Court there.

"These leaders are like demi gods. They command enormous power. They have the capacity to subvert the system to their advantage. It is a reality," Dave said.

He said that the High Court had accepted the contention of the accused that the gifts received by Jayalalitha on her birthday and also for her son’s wedding have to be included in the income and has concluded that the income from gifts would be estimated as Rs 1.5 crore.

Dave also questioned the loan of Rs 15 crore taken by Jaya Publication in which the AIADMK chief and her close aide were partners and said no authority was intimated during the check period between 1991 and 1996.

"Here loan was taken but no authority was intimated about it during the check period. Each of these defence taken by the accused were clear cut after thought and a carefully crafted legal advice," Dave said.

He added that no one can tell the Income Tax department five years later that you had taken so much loan and acquired properties from that amount.

"The intimation has to be done at that time. Being a public servant you need to intimate the authorities concerned about any loan taken or acquiring properties," Dave said.

To this the bench said, is there any rule or law in Karnataka which mandates the public authority to disclose his or her assets while holding the office.

The senior advocate further said that under civil service conduct rules government servants have to disclose their assets and income but they are unaware of any law in Tamil Nadu as the state has not rendered any cooperation.

The bench said it is not the question of cooperation given or not and if there exists any rule or law, the court can order for it.

The hearing remained inconclusive and will continue on Thursday.

The apex court had on Tuesday commenced final hearing on various appeals including the one filed by Karnataka against the acquittal of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa and others in the case.

Karnataka had said that the High Court's order acquitting Jayalalithaa and others needs to be set aside as there were glaring mistakes.

On 27 July, 2015 the apex court had issued notices on Karnataka government's appeal seeking stay of the High Court judgement to Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and her relatives VN Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, asking them to file their replies within eight weeks.

The apex court had earlier allowed an intervention application by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in the matter and asked him to file the issues he wished to press before it.

The Karnataka HC had on 11 May, 2015 ruled that the AIADMK supremo's conviction by special court suffered from infirmity and was not sustainable in law, clearing decks for her return as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

The Karnataka government, in its plea against the 11 May, 2015 order, claimed that the HC had erred in computing disproportionate assets of the AIADMK leader.

The Karnataka government also asked whether the High Court had "erred in law" by according benefit of doubt to Jayalalithaa in pursuance of a Supreme Court judgement holding that accused can be acquitted if his or her disproportionate assets were to the extent of 10 percent.

The state government had also claimed that the High Court has erred in overruling preliminary objections raised by it and added that the accused had filed their appeals against conviction without impleading Karnataka as a party.

The special court had in 2014 held Jayalalithaa guilty of corruption and sentenced her to four years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore.

PTI

First Published On : Feb 24, 2016 20:31 IST

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