State of Karnataka vs Selvi J. Jayalalitha - Supreme Court Case
State of Karnataka vs Selvi J. Jayalalitha - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2017 -
On 14th February, 2017, in the case of State of Karnataka vs Selvi J. Jayalalitha & Ors. [Criminal Appeal Nos.300 - 303 of 2017], wherein charges were framed against A1 – former Chief Minister of the State of Tamil Nadu and the co-accused viz. A2, A3 and A4 (respondents), for commission of alleged offences punishable under Section 13(1)(e) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and further under Section 120-B and Section 109 of IPC, it was held that A1 to A4 had “entered into a conspiracy and in furtherance of the same, A1 who was a public servant at the relevant time had come into possession of assets disproportionate to the known sources of her income during the check period and had got the same dispersed in the names of A2 to A4 and the firms & companies involved to hold these on her behalf with a masked front.” Furthermore, it was held that “the charge of abetment laid against A2 to A4 in the commission of the offence by A1 also stands proved.”
It was held that as the sole public servant had died being A1 in this matter, and appeals against her had abated, even then A2 to A4 “were liable to be convicted and sentenced in the manner as has been held by the Trial Judge.” It was held that “private individuals can be prosecuted by the Court on the ground that they have abetted the act of criminal misconduct falling under Section 13(1)(e) of the 1988 Act committed by the public servant” and furthermore, the reasoning given by the Trial Court in respect of criminal conspiracy and abetment was correct “in the face of the overwhelming evidence indicating the circumstances of active abetment and conspiracy by A2 to A4 in the commission of the above offences under Section 13(1)(e) of the 1988 Act.” Having regard to the fact that the charge framed against A2 to A4 was proved, the conviction and sentence recorded against them by the Trial Court was restored in full.