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Jayalalithaa DA case: SC fiat to Karnataka on prosecutor row

The Supreme Court on Friday objected to a Karnataka government notification ‘misrepresenting’ an undertaking given by it as an order of the apex court on the controversy surrounding the appointment of Special Public Prosecutor in a disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

‘We never directed. They (Karnataka government) themselves said and gave undertaking to withdraw the order removing advocate G Bhavani Singh as special public prosecutor,’ a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde said after the plea by the Tamil Nadu chief minister was mentioned.

The bench issued notice to Karnataka Government and sought its response within 10 days on the controversy surrounding the fresh notification in which it also asked Bhawani Singh not to appear in the matter.

The bench said its August 30 order restraining the Karnataka Government from appointing new SPP in the case will continue. The order was passed on a plea by Jayalalithaa challenging the removal of Bhawani Singh as SPP.

Karnataka government through Attorney General G E Vahanvati on 6 September had given an undertaking to withdraw the order on removal of Bhawani Singh as SPP in the case.

The court was told that fresh selection of the prosecutor would be done by placing all relevant materials before the Chief Justice of Karnataka high court.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Jayalalithaa, today read out the portion of the notification which said that the order of removal of Bhawani Singh has ‘in fact been withdrawn by asking special public prosecutor (SPP) not to appear in the case’ in pursuance to apex court’s order.

The senior advocate said it was ‘mischievous’ on the part of the state government to mark a copy to the Karnataka high court saying that it was withdrawing the order on SPP as apex court has directed.

‘The impugned order of August 26 removing the SPP is thereby withdrawn. The Attorney General further states that Karnataka Government will place on an urgent basis all relevant materials before the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court along with the list of senior lawyers for being appointed as the SPP,’ the bench had said in its previous order.
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