Corruption is an “insatiable vice” for wealth which gave unfair advantage to the dishonest, leading to escalation of the divide between the haves and the have-nots, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.
Pulling the curtains down on the sensational 19-year-old assets case involving late J Jayalithaa and her close aide Sasikala, Justice Amitava Roy said the maze of 34 companies, most of them shell firms, were created to deceive process of law and justify the unaccounted wealth, showing a deep-rooted conspiracy for amassing vast assets.
Justice Roy, who wrote a separate but concurring verdict in the case, dealt with the growing menace of corruption in public life and said it emanated from “moral debasement” of people and “gave unfair advantage to the dishonest, leading to escalation of the divide between the haves and have nots”.
Read | Cash, gifts received by Jayalalithaa cannot be considered lawful income, says Supreme Court
Corruption is the “insatiable vice” for wealth and “unscrupulous” elements take unfair advantage of their power and authority in public office and breach institutional norms.
“The attendant facts and circumstances encountered, demonstrate a deep-rooted conspiratorial design to amass vast assets without any compunction and hold the same through shell entities to cover up the sinister trail of such illicit acquisitions and deceive and delude process of law. Novelty in the outrages and the magnitude of the nefarious gains as demonstrated by the revelations in the case are startling.
Read | Pronouncement of verdict on Sasikala in disproportionate assets case completed in eight minutes
“A growing impression in contemporary existence seems to acknowledge the all-pervading pestilent presence of corruption almost in every walk of life, as if to rest reconciled to the octopoid stranglehold of this malaise with helpless awe. The common day experiences indeed do introduce one with unfailing regularity, the variegated cancerous concoctions of corruption with fearless impunity gnawing into the frame and fabric of nation’s essential,” Justice Roy said.
“Corruption is a vice of insatiable avarice for self-aggrandisement by the unscrupulous, taking unfair advantage of their power and authority and those in public office also, in breach of the institutional norms, mostly backed by minatory loyalists. Both the corrupt and the corrupter are indictable and answerable to the society and the country as a whole.
Read | SC convicts Sasikala in DA case, Panneerselvam's camp likely to benefit from switching loyalties
“This is more particularly in the peoples’ representatives in public life committed by the oath of the office to dedicate oneself to the unqualified welfare of the laity, by faithfully and conscientiously discharging their duties attached thereto in accordance with the Constitution, free from fear or favour or affection or ill-will,” Justice Roy said.