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Jaya’s acquittal order: Apex Court refers plea to another Bench

The Supreme Court on Monday referred a plea, seeking declaration of the Karnataka high court’s verdict acquitting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in a disproportionate assets case as “arbitrary” and “void”, to a Bench.

“The matter be listed before the Bench hearing the appeal arising out of the judgement of Karnataka high court,” a Bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, said. The Bench, comprising Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, also asked petitioner Pandit Paramanand Katara why he had not intervened when the matter was in the High Court.

Katara, who is a practicing senior advocate in the Apex Court, said there has been increasing tendency of such appeals being moved in different High Courts and the Supreme Court should settle the issue.

Maintaining that Jayalalithaa was convicted and sentenced for four years with fine, he said, hence, the law required that the revision petition should have been filed under Section 397/401 of CrPC (powers of High Court to hear revision petitions) and not a criminal appeal under section 374(2). Katara said under Section 374 of the CrPC, the appeal can be filed if the conviction is seven and more than seven years and not less.
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