New Delhi: A plea seeking declaration of Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in a disproportionate assets case as "arbitrary" and "void", was referred by Supreme Court on Monday to a bench dealing with the matter.
"The matter be listed before the bench hearing the appeal arising out of the judgement of Karnataka High Court," a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said.
The bench, comprising Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, also asked petitioner Pandit Paramanand Katara why he had not intervened when the matter was in the High Court.
Katara, who is a practicing senior advocate in the apex court, said there has been increasing tendency of such appeals being moved in different high courts and the Supreme Court should settle the issue.
Maintaining that Jayalalithaa was convicted and sentenced for four years with fine, he said hence the law required that the revision petition should have been filed under section 397/401 of CrPC (powers of High Court to hear revision petitions) and not a criminal appeal under section 374(2).
Katara said that under section 374 of CrPC, the appeal can be filed if the conviction is seven and more than seven years and not less.
"The high court passed a judgement acquitting J Jayalalithaa on May 11, 2015, without jurisdiction and this legal flaw and blunder was not pointed out in high court by both sides lawyers," he said.
He sought that his petition be heard by constitutional bench to decide the substantial question of law and to clarify the ambiguity.
"Issue an appropriate writ or writs and guidelines, proclamation or declaration that the appeal against the conviction and sentence of four years passed by sessions and Additional Sessions Judge, does not legally lie in High Court...," his plea said.
He sought declaration of judgement of May 11, 2015 of acquittal Jayalalithaa by Karnataka High Court is without jurisdiction, "void", "illegal", "arbitrary" and "unknown" to the provisions of CrPC.