The trial of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in a corruption case for owning disproportionate assets, currently going on before a court in Bangalore, will continue as Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a plea seeking its deferment.
While allowing senior counsel V.Giri to withdraw the plea and approach the Karnataka High Court, a bench of Justice B.S.Chauhan and Justice A.K.Sikri also declined the plea by Lex Property Developer P.Ltd. seeking that the trial in the case should be deffered till its case was decided.
Senior counsel Ranjit Kumar appearing for the company urged the court to defer the trial in Jayalalithaa case as it had a bearing on his matter, which is being heard by the same special court in Bangalore.The court was told that assets of the firm were being shown to be "benami (proxy)" properties of Jayalalithaa but he had documents to establish that these assets belonged to and were owned by him.
At this, the court observed that the matter concerning company was a civil case whereas the case against Jayalalithaa was a criminal case and as such, how were the two connected.The court however allowed the firm to access the documents that were being relied upon by the prosecution to establish its case and also cross examine the witnesses after Lex Property Developer contended that it was not being allowed to do so.
While its case is coming up for hearing on May 15, the Jayalalithaa case is listed for arguments by the her counsel on May 19.The case against Jayalalithaa and three others relates to period from 1991 to 1996 involving Rs.66.65 crore. The trial in the case was shifted outside Chennai to Bangalore by the apex court in 2003 to ensure a free and fair trial.
Along with Jayalalithaa, the other accused facing trial are V.K.Sasikala, V.N.Sudhakaran and J. Illavarasi.