Jayalalithaa’s Legal Wrangles That Led To Her Conviction : A DEVASTATING TIME LINE

a-devastating-time-lineTamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, convicted recently by a Bangalore special court in a disproportionate assets case, had fought more than a dozen cases and was acquitted in most of them. Following is the course the disproportionate assets case against Jayalalithaa has traversed, seeing legal and political twists and turns in the last eighteen years after the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam Government decided to form a special court on coming to power in 1996.
1996 : Dr Subramanian Swamy, then a leader of Janata Party, files a case against Jayalalithaa alleging that during her tenure as Chief Minister from 1991 to 1996, she amassed properties worth Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate to her known sources of income.
Dec 7, 1996 : Jayalalitha arrested. Many allegations follow, including accumulation of disproportionate assets.
1997 : A prosecution launched in additional sessions court in Chennai against Jayalalithaa and three others for having assets “disproportionate” to their known income.
June 4, 1997 : Charge-sheeted for offences under Sections 120-B IPC, 13(2) read with 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
October 1, 1997: The Madras high court dismisses three petitions by Jayalalitha including one challenging sanction granted by then Governor M Fathima Beevi for prosecuting her in the wealth case.
Trial progresses. By august 2000, 250 prosecution witnesses examined, only 10 more remained. In the 2001 May assembly elections, All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazhagam secures absolute majority and Jayalalitha becomes Chief Minister. Her appointment is challenged due to her conviction in October, 2000 in the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation case. SC nullifies the appointment.
September 21, 2001 : Jayalalithaa ceases to be Chief Minister. After her conviction is set aside, Jayalalithaa is elected to the Assembly in a bypoll from Andipatti constituency on Feb 21, 2002, and again sworn in as Chief Minister.
Three public prosecutors resign as also senior counsel. Several prosecution witnesses resile from their earlier depositions after the AIADMK returned to power.
2003 : DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan approaches the Supreme Court for transferring the trial to Karnataka on the ground that a fair trial was not possible in Tamil Nadu with Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister.
On November 18, 2003, the Supreme Court transferred the case to Bangalore.
February 19, 2005 : Karnataka Government appoints B V Acharya, a former advocate general, as Special Public Prosecutor to conduct the prosecution.
October/November 2011 : Jayalalithaa deposes in the Special Court and answers 1,339 questions.
August 12, 2012 : Acharya expresses his inability to continue as SPP. Karnataka Government accepts his resignation in January, 2013 and discharges him from the case.
February 2, 2013 : Karnataka Government appoints G Bhavani Singh as SPP.
August 26, 2013 : Karnataka Government issues a notification withdrawing the appointment of Bhavani Singh as SPP without assigning any reason and without consulting the Chief Justice of the Karnataka high court.
September 30, 2013 : Supreme Court quashes the notification withdrawing appointment of Bhavani Singh as SPP.
December 12, 2013 : Special Court allows a plea by DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan and directs physical production of valuables and other assets seized from Jayalalithaa in 1997 and deposited in an RBI treasury in Chennai.
February 28, 2014 : Special Court dismisses plea by SPP seeking a direction to produce before it the seized silver articles belonging to her. Judge says the SPP had filed it only with the purpose of delaying the proceedings.
March 14/15, 2014 : Special Court imposes a cost of one-day salary on SPP Bhavani Singh for not resuming the final arguments citing ill-health.
March 18, 2014 : Singh moves the Karnataka high court challenging the special court order imposing cost.
March 21, 2014 : HC rejects his petition saying the order of the special court imposing cost was right.
August 28, 2014 : Special Court reserves judgment for September 20 and directs all the four accused, including Jayalalithaa, to appear before it on that date.
September 16, 2014 : Special Court defers by a week to September 27 pronouncement of its verdict.
September 27, 2014 : Special Court convicts Jayalalithaa.
-PTI

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