On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to agree to an urgent hearing on a PIL that sought to restrain AIADMK chief VK Sasikala from being sworn in as Tamil Nadu chief minister till the court decides the disproportionate assets case against her. The apex court’s decision comes as a bosst to Sasikala who met Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao to stake claim to form a government in the state.
“Sorry. Declined,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud said when the lawyer sought urgent listing and hearing.
Advocate G S Mani, who is representing Chennai-resident Senthil Kumar, General Secretary of NGO Satta Panchayat Iyakkam, pleaded that the matter be heard on urgent basis.
The PIL was filed on February 6 before the revolt by caretaker CM O Panneerselvam, which created a political crisis in the state as both AIADMK leaders eyed the CM’s spot.
The petitioner had sought a restrain on her swearing-in after an apex court bench on February 6 had said that it would pronounce within a week the judgement in a 19-year-old disproportionate assets case in which Sasikala and late CM J Jayalalithaa are accused.
Kumar had sought a stay on Sasikala’s swearing-in contending that if she was convicted and forced to resign, there could be a “possibility of riots erupting all over Tamil Nadu”.
The petitioner had said the law and order situation in the state may worsen as the state was already facing a “desperate situation” due to cyclone, demonetisation and death of Jayalalithaa.
He claimed to have filed the plea in the interest of the people of Tamil Nadu and to maintain peace in the state.
After Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5, 2016, Sasikala, her close aide for nearly three decades, was made General Secretary of AIADMK on December 29 and elected as the Leader of the Legislature Party on February 5.
Jayalalitha, along with her aides Sasikala, VN Sudhakaran and J Elavarasi, was booked under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC for allegedly amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income in 1997.
The trial of the case was shifted by the Supreme Court to Bengaluru on a petition filed by a DMK leader and the court there had convicted them on September 27, 2014.
However, the Karnataka High Court had reversed the special court’s judgment on May 11, 2015. The Karnataka government had filed an appeal against it in the Supreme Court.
The apex court had last year, before the demise of Jayalalithaa, reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka HC order.
(With inputs from PTI)