Karnataka has asked the Supreme Court to review its decision to drop proceedings against late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in a corruption case, saying it should order recovery of the Rs 100-crore fine from the sale of her estate.
The court had on February 14 set aside the Karnataka high court order giving a clean chit to Jayalalithaa, who died on December 5 after a prolonged illness, and her aide Sasikala.
It upheld the trial court order declaring them guilty in “toto” in the Rs 66-crore disproportionate assets cases.
While appeal against Jayalalithaa abated following her death, Sasikala and two others are serving their four-year term in a Bengaluru jail.
In its review petition, the Karnataka government on Tuesday described the judgment as an “error on the face of the record”. It said the former CM died after the conclusion of the arguments and judgment was reserved.
“There is no question of abatement of appeal and that the judgment subsequently pronounced will have the same force and effect as if the same was pronounced before the death took place,” the petition stated.
Karnataka argued while the prison sentence wouldn’t hold but the trial court order on fine was sustainable and the money should be recovered from the assets acquired through corrupt means.
“In the circumstances, though the death of the accused no 1 (Jayalalithaa) renders sentence of imprisonment infructuous, the question whether any fine is liable to be imposed as also confiscation of illegally acquired property will survive for consideration,” Karnataka said in its petition.
The Supreme Court verdict cut short Sasikala’s power bid. She had taken over the ruling AIADMK and was a step away from being the chief minister when the order came.