Jaya’s DA case: No leniency for pub servants, Swamy tells SC

Bengaluru: BJP leader Subramanian Swany on Wednesday questioned the verdict of Karnataka High Court acquitting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and others in a disproportionate assets case in Supreme Court, saying there can be no leniency in prosecuting public servants holding high positions.

Swamy told the bench of justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Amitava Roy that leniency, as envisaged by the apex court in other cases, is not applicable when public servants in high places committed corrupt acts.

“The single appellate judge erred in applying the leniency (criteria) instead, in keeping with a catena of judgements of Supreme Court, (it) should have confirmed the conviction,” he said, adding that “there can be no room for leniency in prosecuting corruption cases, especially of public servants holding high positions.”

Swamy’s submissions came after senior advocate B V Acharaya, appearing for Karnataka government, concluded his arguments on the appeals challenging the High Court verdict.

The BJP leader said the first key issue to be decided by the apex court was whether or not the income and wealth calculations by Karnataka High Court is accepted and whether the Rs 2.82 crores estimate of disproportionate assets should be taken as accurate.

He also questioned the role of the Superintendent of Police of Tamil Nadu, who was the sole respondent from the appeal stage before the High Court and till the end of proceedings.

“The issue is whether the judicial process was subverted or not by the vitiating circumstances of the appointment of the sole public prosecutor from Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Besides Jayalalithaa, others accquited by the High Court were her close aide Sasikala and her two relatives, V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi.

On July 27, last year the apex court had issued notices on Karnataka government’s appeal seeking stay of the high court judgement to Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and her relatives V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, asking them to file their replies within eight weeks. The apex court had then allowed an intervention application by Swamy in the matter and asked him to file the issues he wished to press before it.