Karnataka government today raised questions in the Supreme Court about crores of rupees allegedly received as gift by AIADMK Chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa from party cadres on her birthdays, saying these earnings cannot be said to be from “lawful source of income”.
Continuing his arguments, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who is appearing for Karnataka in the disproportionate assets case, questioned the methodlogy adopted by the High Court in computing assets of Jayalalithaa.
“Can the Rs 1.5 crore received from (party) cadres as gifts on birthdays be said to be lawful source of income. It can’t be. Then tomorrow every politician will go and do the same thing. All the politicians are revered by their cadres,” Dave told the bench of justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy.
The Karnataka government is arguing its appeal in the case as the trial was shifted from Tamil Nadu and a Bangalore court had convicted the accused including Jayalalithaa who had succeeded in her challenge before the High Court there.
“These leaders are like demi gods. They command enormous power. They have the capacity to subvert the system to their advantage. It is a reality,” Dave said.
He said that the high court had accepted the contention of the accused that the gifts received by Jayalalitha on her birthday and also for her son’s wedding have to be included in the income and has concluded that the income from gifts would be estimated as Rs 1.5 crore.
Dave also questioned the loan of Rs 15 crore taken by Jaya Publication in which AIADMK chief and her close aide were partners and said no authority was intimated during the check period between 1991 and 1996.
“Here loan was taken but no authority was intimated about it during the check period. Each of these defence taken by the accused were clear cut after thought and a carefully crafted legal advice,” Dave said.
He added that no one can tell the Income Tax department five years later that you had taken so much loan and acquired properties from that amount.
“The intimation has to be done at that time. Being a public servant you need to intimate the authorities concerned about any loan taken or acquiring properties,” Dave said.
To this the bench said that is there any rule or law in Karnataka which mandates the public authority to disclose his or her assets while holding the office.