In a set back to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court today declined to stay the trial against her in a 14-year-old disproportionate assets case being held in Karnataka.
A bench headed by Justice B Sudershan Reddy, however, directed the trial court to fix a time frame for cross examination of the 42 witnesses after giving sufficient opportunity to Jayalalithaa.
The apex court passed the order by dismissing the SLP filed by the AIADMK supremo challenging the March 10 verdict of the Karnataka High Court which held that the trial court order taking congnisance of the complaint on June 5, 1997, did not suffer from any illegality or irregularity.
The case was transferred to a Bangalore court by the Supreme Court in 2003 during her chief ministership on a petition by DMK leader K Anbazhagan saying the manner in which the Chennai trial court had proceeded with the cases raised doubts over a free and fair trial.
Assailing the March 10 order of High Court, Jayalalithaa had submitted the chargesheet did not make out any case against her.
The petition said the Special Judge, Chennai, had not applied his mind and cognisance of the chargesheet of June 5, 1997, was taken mechanically and added the case was transferred at the instance of her political rival from Tamil Nadu.