Published On: Thu, Jun 2nd, 2016

Mere possession of disproportionate assets not offence: Supreme Court

New Delhi: Mere possession of disproportionate assets to known sources of income is not an offence and a person can be held guilty only if it is proved that the assets were acquired through illegal means, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

“Disproportionate assets is not a crime. It is only a crime if it is proved that the source of the money is illegal, then only the offence is complete, otherwise, it will be an inference only,” Justice Amitava Roy observed, while a bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy hearing an appeal against the acquittal of Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa in a Rs 67 crore disproportionate assets case.

The observation came when senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Karnataka, described the High Cour judgment as “perverse beyond imagination.”

Dave, who challenged the acquittal, told the bench that the High Court verdict was “perverse” as it “committed error” in calculating the CM’s assets.

He said the assets, expenditure and income of the accused was considered jointly and they couldn’t make out a case for separate assessement now.

The bench said, “Suppose you prove all the accused are together and it is the same money of accused Jayalalithaa which was being circulated, does it lead to conviction? Will it mean the money…was from income obtained from unknown sources?”


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