Plea in HC: Release Jaya to restore peace in Tamil Nadu

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BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court will on Friday hear a PIL that has sought suspension of the conviction of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa to restore peace in the state, which has been burning since a special court sentenced her to four years in jail.

The PIL filed by P R Sathyanarayanan, a resident of Gobichettypalyam, Erode district, said the situation in Tamil Nadu has worsened and four-five children have been dying everyday since Jayalalithaa and her three associates were convicted and sentenced in the 18-year-old disproportionate assets case on September 27.

However, a division bench headed by Chief Justice D H Waghela on Thursday asked the counsel representing the petitioner to first satisfy whether such a petition is maintainable. “Don’t argue on facts; first satisfy the maintainability of this petition relating to a conviction of which the criminal appeal is pending,” the bench said.

The counsel said, “Common people like the petitioner are suffering as they are not able to live properly and their rights guaranteed under Article 21 are affected.”

The counsel also contended that the special court exceeded its jurisdiction while sending the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to a jail in Karnataka.

The counsel urged the high court to issue a direction to keep the September 27 verdict of the special court inoperative for sometime. “I (petitioner) don’t support any political party. What we want is restoration of peace in Tamil Nadu.”

The bench responded saying that law and order comes under the domain of the particular state government and courts will not decide matters on the strength of passion.

The bench also wondered why the petitioner rushed to the Karnataka High Court when the nearest authority was the Madras High Court. The counsel replied that she was told to approach the Karnataka High Court as the trial court that had convicted the former Tamil Nadu CM comes within its jurisdiction.

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