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|November 3, 1998||
Madras HC okays special judges to try Jaya
In a judgment that is likely to have a major political fallout, a division bench of the Madras high court today upheld the Tamil Nadu government's order appointing three special judges to try cases of corruption against former chief minister J Jayalalitha and some of her erstwhile Cabinet colleagues.
The 678-page judgment, seen as a big setback for Jayalalitha, general secretary of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, was delivered by a bench comprising Chief Justice M S Librahan and Justice E Padmanabhan while dismissing writ petitions filed by her and others.
The judges held that there was no mala fide on the state government's part in appointing the special judges on April 30 last year.
But on a plea by Jayalalitha's counsel Jinasenan, the bench suspended the operation of the judgment for eight days to enable her to move the Supreme Court against it.
Prosecution lawyers were jubilant when the chief justice read out the operative portions of the judgment in the packed court hall this morning.
The two judges delivered separate judgments arriving at the same decision. While the chief justice dealt with the legal aspects of the petition, Justice Padmanabhan went through its technical and factual aspects.
Reacting to the judgment, Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi said it was a moral victory for the people of Tamil Nadu.
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