SC quashes complaints against Jayalalithaa

New Delhi, Nov 21: The Supreme Court Wednesday quashed two criminal complaints filed by the Election Commission against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for filing nomination papers from four constituencies before the 2001 assembly polls.

The apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice C.K. Prasad quashed the complaints against Jayalalithaa as it set aside the judgment of Madras High Court on whose direction Election Commission had registered the criminal complaints.

Besides filing nominations from Bhuvangiri and Kudukotai assembly constituencies, Jayalalithaa had filed nomination papers from Audipatti and Krishnagiri too.

Under the Representation of Peoples Act, a candidate can file nominations from two assembly constituencies and filing nominations papers in more than two constituencies is an electoral offence.

DMK leader C. Kuppusamy had filed the complaints before returning officers of Bhuvangiri and Kudukotai seeking action against Jayalalithaa for filing nominations from the assembly constituencies.

Since no action was taken by the returning officers, Kuppusamy moved the Madras High Court.

The court in June 2007 ordered the Election Commission to file complaint against Jayalalithaa.

However, on an appeal by Jayalalithaa, the apex court in July 2007 stayed all further proceedings in the two cases.

While setting aside the high court direction and quashing the complaints against Jayalalithaa, the apex court remanded the matter back to the high court for fresh reconsideration.

The apex court ordered fresh consideration of the matter after Jayalalithaa’s counsel told the court that the high court gave the direction for the filing of complaints without considering the order passed by the two returning officers.

The apex court asked the high Court to take into consideration the orders of two officers and dispose off the matter in four months.

The officers, in their orders, had said that no action could be taken against Jayalalithaa as she had not suppressed any fact or made any false declaration.

IANS