Onkar Singh in New Delhi
A five judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined the plea of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to defer the hearings by three weeks in the case challenging her appointment.
The bench comprising Justice S P Bharucha, Justice G B Patnaik, Justice Y K Sabharwal, Justice Brijesh Kumar and Justice Ruma Pal is hearing six public interest litigations challenging Jayalalithaa's appointment as chief minister by former Tamil Nadu governor Fatima Beevi.
B R Chopra, Dhananjay Chauhan, Prakash Singh Chautala, PL Wadhera, V Selvaraj and Dr Subramaniam Swamy had filed the six PILs.
The PILs contend that since the Election Commission had debarred Jayalalithaa from contesting elections on account of a special court in Madras sentencing Jayalalithaa to three years rigorous imprisonment in the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation property deal case, she cannot hold the chief minister's office.
The crucial question that the court has to decide is whether a person whose conviction has not been suspended pending appeal, can be sworn in and continue to function as the chief minister of a state.
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