In a major setback for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected her plea seeking the suspension of trial in the disproportionate assets (DA) case against her.
The order was passed by the apex court bench of Justice JS Khehar and Justice C Nagappan.
“We find no merit, plea dismissed,” the apex court bench said, dealing a blow to the Chief Minister.
In her plea, Jayalalithaa had pleaded the court that trial in the DA case should not proceed till the ownership of the immovable assets shown to be her benami possession was decided as directed by the Madras High Court.
The apex court had earlier issued notice to DMK leader K Anbalagan, seeking vacation of stay so that trial in the DA case against Jayalalithaa and others could go on uninterrupted.
Besides, the court gave a week’s time to Tamil Nadu vigilance and anti-corruption department to file their response to Jayalalithaa’s plea that trial in the DA case be put on hold till the claims over immovable properties was decided by a Bangalore special court.
But on Monday, the Tamil Nadu Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department opposed the Chief Minister’s plea.
The department in its response to Jayalalithaa’s plea told the Supreme Court that “since the petition for attachment (before the special court, Bangalore) is being withdrawn, the Special Leave Petition (by Jayalalithaa and others) will now become infructuous”
Appearing for the department, senior counsel Amarendra Saran told the bench of Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh that Jayalalithaa’s plea was “only a device to postpone the hearing”.
The department said that it was withdrawing its application for the attachment of these properties as same have already been seized by it and are in the custody of the special court, where the trial in DA case has been going on from 2010 and has reached the fag end.
At this Jayalalithaa’s counsel Shekhar Naphde opposed the plea saying that they could not withdraw the application for attachment of immoveable properties, which are the bone of contention between the vigilance department and the Lex Property Developer P. Ltd. and others staking claim over the properties.