New Delhi: The Supreme Court today stayed for 10 days the ongoing trial in a disproportionate assets case before a Bangalore court against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
A bench comprising justices B S Chauhan and A K Sikri, however, said that the civil proceedings, pending before the same trial court in Bangalore, will go on.
The civil proceedings relate to the plea of various companies alleging that some of the properties, shown as part of the disproportionate assets of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, actually belonged to them.
“We are keeping at abeyance the trial in the criminal proceedings for 10 days. However, it is made clear that the civil proceedings will go on,” the bench said and fixed the petition for further hearing on June 6.
The bench also issued notice to the Director General Vigilance on the petition filed by AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa.
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the petitioner, said that grave prejudice would be caused if the criminal trial is not stayed.
The apex court had on May 13 said it was not inclined to stay the trial in the Bangalore court in the DA case against Jayalalithaa and others.
It, however, had allowed the Chief Minister to withdraw the plea and move the Karnataka High Court.
The Chief Minister had sought a stay on the trial till the lower court decides the plea of Lex Property Development (P) Ltd, a Chennai-based firm.
The company has claimed that the properties, which have been attached by the authorities as ‘benami’ holdings of Jayalalithaa, in fact, belonged to it and said this plea be decided first before the lower court proceeds with the trial in the assets case.
The court had allowed the company, which has separately challenged the attachment of properties, to cross examine the witnesses who may file certain documents.
The disproportionate assets case was shifted to Bangalore in 2003 following a Supreme Court directive on a petition alleging that a fair trial was not possible in Chennai during her tenure as Chief Minister then.
Jayalalithaa faces charges of accumulation of over Rs 66 crore worth of assets disproportionate to her known sources of income.
Besides Jayalalithaa, V K Sasikala, V N Sudhakaran and J Illavarasi are also facing trial in the case.