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Jayalalithaa not a convict, rules Madras HC

The PIL petition was filed by advocate M.L. Ravi of Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi on the ground that she was a “convict” and therefore public funds should not be used for the construction of a mausoleum for her


The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation filed against the use of public money to construct a mausoleum for former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa after holding that she cannot be described as a `convict’ since the Supreme Court had not set aside her acquittal from a disproportionate assets case by Karnataka High Court.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and P. Rajamanickam said she had died before the disposal of an appeal preferred against the acquittal and the Supreme Court had not specifically set aside her acquittal from the case after dealing with the matter on merits. The Supreme Court had only said the appeal against her stands abated.

Therefore, as a necessary corollary, it must be construed that she must be given the benefit of her acquittal from the case by the Karnataka High Court and therefore not be branded as a convict, the Bench observed.

The PIL petition was filed by advocate M.L. Ravi of Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi on the ground that she was a “convict” and therefore public funds should not be used for the construction of a mausoleum for her. The petitioner, however, had no objection to the private funds being used for the construction.