SC orders framing of charges against TN CM
The trial court was asked to decide the issue of framing of charges after considering plea for discharge.india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 17:49 IST
In a relief to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to direct her to appear before a Chennai Court hearing a case of non-filing of Income Tax returns.
The trial court was asked to decide the issue of framing of charges after considering her plea for discharge within two months.
"We direct the trial court to consider the matter regarding framing of charges after hearing the petition for discharge of accused within a period of two months after receipt of this order," a bench of Justice BN Agarwal and Justice AK Mathur said.
The bench said in case the trial court was of the view that it was a fit case for framing of charges then it will fix a date for commencement of trial on a day-to-day basis unless and until its proceedings were stayed by any court.
The bench was deciding Income Tax Department's appeal against a Madras High Court order dismissing its plea to direct her to appear before the trial court.
The department alleged that Jayalalithaa and her close aide Sasikala Natarajan -- both accused in the case for not filing their I-T returns for the year 1993-94, were adopting delaying tactics by not appearing before the trial court.
Solicitor General GE Vahanvati repeatedly requested the apex court to direct her to appear before the trial court for recording of her statement under Section 313 of CrPC.
However, the bench was not impressed by his submission.
It wanted to know if appearance of the accused in the trial court even before framing of charges was a legal requirement.