SC dismisses Karnataka plea in Jayalalithaa assets case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the Karnataka government's plea seeking review of its verdict by which it had abated the proceedings in a disproportionate assets case against late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

''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.

The Karnataka government had on 21 March moved the apex court against its 14 February judgement contending that once the proceedings were abated, it would not be possible to recover the fine of Rs100 crore imposed on the late leader which was part of the punishment awarded to her in the case.

The apex court had on 14 February convicted AIADMK chief V K Sasikala and two others in the case, while abating proceedings against Jayalalithaa.

The court had, however, made clear that the fine imposed on her can be recovered.

The apex court had restored the special trial court verdict convicting all the accused and set aside the Karnataka High Court judgment in the case.

The trial court had found disproportionate assets valued at Rs53.60 crore, which Jayalalithaa and the three others could not account for. The Central Bureau of Investigation had alleged that the unaccounted wealth was to the tune of Rs66.65 crore.

In its review plea, the state government had contended that the apex court's decision to abate the proceedings against Jayalalithaa was an ''error apparent on the face of record''. The plea had said that the abatement of proceedings was ''erroneous'' as there was no provision either in the Constitution or the Supreme Court rules for it.

Jayalalithaa had been sentenced to a four-year jail term, along with Rs100 crore fine, by the Bengaluru court.

Sixty-year-old Sasikala has to serve a jail term of around three-and-a-half years out of the four years awarded by the trial court, as she has already spent almost six months in prison.

The conviction of Sasikala's two relatives V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi was also upheld by the apex court and they were directed to surrender to serve their four-year term.

The apex court had set aside the high court order acquitting all the four accused and had ''restored in toto'' the trial court's decision in the 19-year-old case.