After over a decade, and passing through the hands of five public prosecutors and six judges, the highly politicised disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa is back to where it was — mired in controversies over alleged subversion of the trial.
The case relates to alleged acquisition of Rs 66.65 crore illegal wealth by Jayalalithaa during her first term between 1991 and 1996. Having witnessed a flip-flop depending on the parties in power in Tamil Nadu, the case is now seeing a similar flip-flop in Karnataka.
The story of the case is also one of DMK’s persistence to have the AIADMK leader convicted, and flip-flops in Karnataka depending on the ruling party’s relations with the DMK and AIADMK.
With Lok Sabha polls near, the case has again assumed significance as conviction is bound to come in the way of Jayalalithaa’s political aspirations.
The case, initiated in 1997 by the DMK government, was transferred to Karnataka by the Supreme Court in 2003 on a plea by DMK functionary K Anbazhagan, who alleged subversion of the trial by the AIADMK government that had returned to power in 2001.
While being heard in Tamil Nadu between 2000 and 2003, the case saw the resignation of three public prosecutors and a judge. Since being transferred to Karnataka, the trial has witnessed five judges and two public prosecutors.
Since the SC was watching, presiding officers and special public prosecutor B V Acharya, who was appointed by the chief justice of the Karnataka HC, conducted the case for several years with a lot of decorum and respect for law.
Things, however, began to derail about a year ago when the BJP government was in power in Karnataka and an effort was allegedly made to get Acharya to withdraw. Acharya, who quit as SPP in August 2012, accused the BJP of conspiring with the AIADMK to expedite his exit. “(Then CM Sadananda Gowda) said the (BJP) high command had told him that I should not continue in both the posts and they wanted me to resign as SPP. So they really wanted me to resign as SPP. But I