The Karnataka government challenged in the Supreme Court on Tuesday a state high court verdict acquitting AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa in a corruption case that allowed her to return as chief minister of Tamil Nadu this month.
The appeal called the May 11 order a “gross miscarriage of justice” while asking for it to be set aside and Jayalalithaa’s disqualification to be restored immediately.
“The judgment lacks reasoning, is not logical and is cryptic. The evidence has not been considered objectively and (it) lacks deliberation,” the petition read.
If the high court verdict is stayed, Jayalalithaa will become ineligible to contest an assembly by-poll this month to re-enter the legislature which may jeopardise her position as chief minister.
The 67-year-old was forced to quit the post in September after being convicted for amassing illegal wealth as a Bengaluru trial court sentenced her to four years in jail and slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore last year.
After she stepped down, senior ministers wept at the swearing-in ceremony of her replacement, O Panneerselvam, and some supporters reportedly set themselves on fire to protest against her conviction.
The Karnataka high court overturned the trial court order last month and cleared her of all charges in the graft case.
Jayalalithaa has always dismissed the corruption charge as politically motivated.
The AIADMK chief, fondly called Amma by supporters, has a cult following in her state and is renowned for distributing free laptops, jewellery and fans to voters.
But the 1996 ostentatious wedding of her foster son and a lavish display of personal wealth proved to be her undoing — it evoked revulsion among people and eventually cost her the elections that year.
Police seized 28kg of gold, 750 pairs of shoes and more than 10,000 saris in a raid on her home, while prosecutors said her assets, which reportedly included two 1,000-acre estates, were vastly disproportionate to her earnings during her first term as chief minister from 1991 to 1996.