Chennai, June 23:
Political parties opposed to the ruling AIADMK on Tuesday welcomed the appeal filed by the Karnataka government against the acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa in a disproportionate assets case.
PMK founder S. Ramadoss in a statement issued here welcoming the Karnataka government’s decision said the government should also appeal to the apex court to decide the case within a stipulated period.
DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin told reporters here that it was the expectation of the people and not only his that the Karnataka government should go in appeal against Jayalalithaa’s acquittal.
Leader of the Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress also welcomed the move by the neighbouring state where his party is at the helm.
Last year, a trial court in Bengaluru sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years in jail and imposed a Rs.100 crore fine. But the Karnataka High Court accepted Jayalalithaa’s appeal and acquitted her of all charges.
The Karnataka High Court, holding the value of Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate assets at Rs.2.82 crore, instead of Rs.53.6 crore computed by the trial court, held the amount “not enough” to convict Jayalalithaa on corruption charges.
Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy also acquitted Jayalalithaa’s three co-convicts, sentenced to four years jail and fined Rs.10 crore each for allegedly amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income during her first term as chief minister from 1991-96.
The co-convicts are Sasikala Natarajan, her nephew V.N. Sudhakaran and her aunt J. Ellavarsi. Sudhakaran is also the disowned foster son of Jayalalithaa.
The high court’s order was faulted for glaring arithmetical errors, especially in respect of details of assets, loan raised and income earned.
Jayalalithaa, who was elected from Srirangam in May 2011, lost her seat and the chief minister’s post after a trial court’s verdict.
The Karnataka High Court upheld her appeal and acquitted her of all charges. Jayalalithaa was again sworn in as chief minister.
As she has to get elected to the assembly within six months, Jayalalithaa is now fighting the June 27 by-election from the Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency here.
AIADMK officials were not available for comment on the Karnataka government’s decision to approach the apex court. (IANS)