Sasikala Natarajan, the second accused in the disproportionate asset case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, on Monday filed an application in a special court questioning the jurisdiction of a judge in continuing hearing of the case stating his appointment was not as per law.
"My client has filed an application in the special court questioning the jurisdiction of Justice B M Mallikarjunaiah in continuing haring the disproportionate assets case as he was not validly appointed," her counsel C Manishankhar told PTI.
Manishankar submitted before that Mallikarjunaiah's appointment was invalid as per Section 3 of Prevention of the Corruption Act and also as per the Supreme Court directions.
"The Supreme Court had directed the Karnataka government to set up a special court and appoint a special judge when the case was transferred from Chennai to Bengaluru. The first appointment of the judge was according to the law, but the present judge's appointment violated appointment procedures," Manishankar submitted.
He further submitted that Justice Mallikarjunaiah's appointment has not been notified by the Karnataka government and no proper appointment procedures have been followed.
Special public prosecutor Santesh Chowta sought time to counter the petition filed by Sasikala and disposed the matter to July 3. The case, relating to alleged accumulation of wealth by Jayalalithaa when she was chief minister from 1991-95, had been transferred to Bangalore by the Supreme Court.
Jayalalithaa has already appeared before the court and deposed on October 21 last year and also for another two days later.
The court is in the process of recording replies by Sasikala to the questions framed in connection with the trial. The recording of replies by Ilavarasi and V Sudhakaran, the other accused in the case was yet to begin.Mallikarjunaiah was appointed to conduct the trial following the elevation of A S Pacchapure to the high court about three years ago.