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Tuesday, July 03, 2001

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CM cases: plea for impartial prosecutors

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, JULY 2. Three petitions seeking to appoint impartial, special prosecutors by the Centre to handle the Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalithaa's appeals against her conviction in the `TANSI land deal cases' and the `Pleasant Stay Hotel case' were filed in the Madras High Court today.

In his petitions, the Chairman of the Alandur Municipality, Mr. R.S. Bharathi of the DMK, said if the State was to be represented by the public prosecutors appointed by Ms. Jayalalithaa, it would result in the negation of justice and rule of law. He also sought an interim stay on all further proceedings in her three appeals in the High Court, pending disposal of the present set of petitions.

Mr. Bharathi said a panel of lawyers appointed by the Centre in consultation with the Attorney-General of India alone could present the prosecution case before the appellant court in a fair manner.

If the law officers appointed by Ms. Jayalalithaa were to be in charge of her appeals, the rule of law would be impaired, the petitioner said, adding that the appeals should be handled by men who were not amenable to the control and dictats of the Chief Minister, who had been convicted in three of the 14 cases filed against her.

Noting that Ms. Jayalalithaa had been found guilty of abuse of power and corruption during her tenure as Chief Minister in 1991- 96, Mr. Bharathi said under the present circumstances, ``an accused is in actual charge of the conduct of the prosecution case also.''

The appointment of Ms. Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister itself had been challenged in the Supreme Court, and hence all her executive actions were also liable to be declared as void, Mr. Bharathi contended in his petition.

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