New Delhi : In a breather for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court Monday stayed, for 10 days, the criminal trial in disproportionate assets case against her involving Rs. 66.65 crores relating to the 1991-1996 period she was in office.

A bench of Justice B.S.Chauhan and Justice A.K.Sikri, while staying the proceedings of the trial court, however, said that civil proceedings relating to claim Lex Property Developer P. Ltd. on the assets allegedly shown to be ‘benami (proxy)’ possessions of Jayalalithaa will go on.

Pronouncing the order, the court said: “Let the civil proceedings go on, criminal proceedings will be stayed.” It also issued notice to Tamil Nadu government on Jayalalitha’s plea challenging May 20 order of Karnataka High Court, rejected her plea directing the Bangalore based special court, trying disproportionate assets case, to first decide the claim of Lex Property Developers over the assets being attributed to her as benami possessions.

Jayalalithaa’s plea seeking the determination of claim by Lex Property Developer is based on April 2 order of the Madras High Court which had directed the special court to first decide the petition by Lex Property Developer.

The Madras High Court order had said that only after the special court had decided on Lex Property Developer’s plea, would it proceed with the disproportionate assets case against Jayalalithaa.

Appearing for Jayalalithaa, senior counsel Ranjit Kumar told the court that despite the Madras High Court order, the special court continued with the hearing of the case.

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