The Supreme Court adjourned hearing in an appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation challenging a Madras High Court judgment setting aside the “three lakh U.S. dollars gift case” against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on the ground of inordinate and unexplained delay at the investigation and trial stages.
In 2012, the Supreme Court had issued notice to Ms. Jayalalithaa after the CBI said the High Court had committed a serious error in not considering various aspects in accordance with law.
What is gift case?
The CBI’s appeal is against the judgment dated September 30, 2011. Its allegation against Ms. Jayalalithaa was that she received a remittance of $3 lakh by way of a demand draft dated December 23, 1991, issued by Bankers Trust Company, New York, drawn on ANZ Grindlays Bank, St. Halia, Jersey.
The CBI contended that though the offence occurred in 1992, it came to the notice of the Income Tax Department only in 1996 and was duly communicated to the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary for taking action. As such, there was no delay. It contended that the High Court ought to have seen that as per the allegation in the FIR, detailed investigation was to be conducted in the U.S., the U.K. and the UAE, and this exercise consumed considerable time for finalising the investigation.