Matter dealing with continuation of SPP in Jayalalitha disproportionate assets case referred to larger bench

Supreme Court: Owing to the difference of opinion of Madan B. Lokur and R. Banumathi, JJ, the matter related to continuation of G. Bhavani Singh as the Special Public Prosecutor in the case against S. Jayalalitha regarding disproportionate assets has been referred to a larger bench.

Madan B. Lokur, J said that since the prosecution was not represented by an authorized person, the hearing of the appeals in the High Court have been vitiated. He further said that the appeals will have to be heard afresh by the High Court with the prosecution represented by a Public Prosecutor appointed under Section 24(1); of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 or a Special Public Prosecutor appointed by the State of Karnataka under Section 24(8) of the said Code. Terming this case to be a classic example of failure of the criminal justice system, Lokur, J said that whether the allegations of Mr. K. Anbazhagan that the accused persons used their power and influence to manipulate and subvert the criminal justice system for more than 15 years thereby delaying the conclusion of the trial against them are true or not, it is the criminal justice delivery system that comes out the loser.

However, R. Banumathi, J, said that the Special Public Prosecutor appointed for the case is duly authorised to be in charge of the case before the High Court in case of appeal as the Special Public Prosecutor is not attached to a particular Court or Local area, but he is attached to the ‘case’ or ‘class of cases’ and therefore Special Public Prosecutor can appear without any written authority before any Court where that case is under inquiry, trial or appeal. She further said that the authority of the Special Public Prosecutor will follow the stage of case, until his authority has been revoked by the State in express terms. K. Anbazhagan v. State of Karnataka, 2015 SCC OnLine SC 341decided on 15.04.2015

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