Apex court adjourns hearing in Jayalalithaa graft case


New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday adjourned the hearing on a petition by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa seeking exemption from personal appearance before a Bangalore court in a disproportionate assets case.

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An apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma, while adjourning the hearing, observed that the petitioner (Jayalalitha) was adopting tactics to delay the proceedings.

The court observation came in the wake of her counsel Harish Salve’s contention that there was statutory change in the status of Jayalalithaa and asking why she should not be given the benefit of that change.

As Salve pleaded that Jayalalitha be exempted from appearing before the trial court in Banglore, the court said that right from 1953, the various judgments of the apex court hold that the accused must appear before the court.

“There are a series of judgments that say that accused must appear before the trial court,” said Justice Bhandari.

As Salve also evoked the question of her security, the court said that trial court would take care of the matter.

The Bangalore court is conducting Jayalalithaa’s trial in a disproportionate assets case after it was transferred there from Chennai by the apex court on Nov 18, 2003.

Jayalalithaa faces charges for accumulating wealth disproportionate to known sources of income when she was the chief minister from 1991 to 1996.