Tamil Nadu Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department Monday opposed Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s plea seeking stay of trial court proceedings in disproportionate assets case till the matter on the ownership of the immovable assets shown to be her alleged ‘benami’ (proxy) possessions was settled.
The department in its response to Jayalalithaa’s plea told the Supreme Court that “since the petition for attachment (before the special court, Bangalore) is being withdrawn, the Special leave petition (by Jayalalithaa and others) will now become infructuous”.
Appearing for the department, senior counsel Amarendra Saran told the bench of Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh that Jayalalithaa’s plea was “only a device to postpone the hearing”.
The department said that it was withdrawing its application for the attachment of these properties as same have already been seized by it and are in the custody of the special court, where the trial in DA case has been going on from 2010 and has reached the fag end.
At this Jayalalithaa’s counsel Shekhar Naphde opposed the plea saying that they could not withdraw the application for attachment of immoveable properties, which are the bone of contention between the vigilance department and the Lex Property Developer P. Ltd. and others staking claim over the properties.
At the outset of the hearing, Justice Sen inquired from Naphade if he had any objection to his hearing the matter as he has already dealt the matter as chief justice of the Karnataka High court.
The court later adjourned the hearing till Tuesday as it wanted to go through the papers.
The apex court May 26 had stayed the trial in DA case against Jayalalithaa and three others involving Rs.66.65 crores and relating to the period from 1991 to 1996.