New Delhi: The Supreme Court today extended till June 16 its order staying the trial in a disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa by a Bangalore court.
Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalitha. File Pic
"Interim order to continue till next date of hearing. List the matter for final hearing on June 16," a bench comprising justice J S Kehar and C Nagappan said. The bench also asked the vigilance department of Tamil Nadu to file its response by next Friday.
The bench issued notice to Jayalalithaa on a separate petition by a DMK leader seeking impleadment as a party to the plea filed by the Tamil Nadu chief minister before the apex court. The counsel for the Tamil Nadu chief minister said that the claim petitions of five separate individuals, staking ownership right over certain property which have been listed as assets of Jayalalithaa, have been heard by the Bangalore trial court.
Earlier, the apex court had stayed the proceeding against AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa for ten days in the Bangalore trial court. The court, however, had said that the civil proceedings, pending before the same trial court in Bangalore, will go on.
The civil proceedings relate to the plea of various companies alleging that some of the properties, shown as part of the disproportionate assets of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, actually belonged to them.
The apex court had on May 13 said it was not inclined to stay the trial in the Bangalore court in the DA case against Jayalalithaa and others. It, however, had allowed the Chief Minister to withdraw the plea and move the Karnataka High Court. The Chief Minister had sought a stay on the trial till the lower court decides the plea of Lex Property Development (P) Ltd, a Chennai-based firm.
The company had claimed that the properties, which have been attached by the authorities as 'benami' holdings of Jayalalithaa, in fact, belonged to it and said this plea be decided first before the lower court proceeds with the trial in the assets case.
The court had allowed the company, which has separately challenged the attachment of properties, to cross examine the witnesses who may file certain documents. The disproportionate assets case was shifted to Bangalore in 2003 following a Supreme Court directive on a petition alleging that a fair trial was not possible in Chennai during her tenure as Chief Minister then.
Jayalalithaa faces charges of accumulation of over Rs 66 crore worth of assets disproportionate to her known sources of income. Besides Jayalalithaa, V K Sasikala, V N Sudhakaran and J Illavarasi are also facing trial in the case.