The Tamil Nadu assembly witnessed on Monday the unveiling of a seven-foot-high portrait of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa. The Speaker P Dhanapal did the honour. In spite of the fact that the assembly hall contains portraits of eminent personalities, this one stirred a controversy. DMK boycotted the ceremony and within an hour moved to the Madras high court seeking to remove it. People from DMK had strict opposition as Jayalalithaa was “found guilty of corruption charges by the Supreme Court.
Jayalalithaa’s ringing around courts
The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose started their court proceedings at around 10.30am. Senior counsel P Wilson for the DMK requested the court to take up the plea urgently.
However, the court kept the case for Tuesday as it was busy entertaining the plea moved by Karti Chidambaram.
According to the petitioner, Jayalalithaa was found guilty of corruption. The charges were confirmed by the Supreme Court after finding all the accused including her guilty of corruption charges. DMK boycotted the ceremony.
The appeals against Jayalalithaa were treated abated on the ground of her demise. A sum of Rs 100 crore was imposed as fine along with the attachment of the properties.
Speaker of the assembly unveiled the portrait in the presence of the chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and the deputy chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
Senior Counsel counselling the case
Senior Counsel Wilson added, “It is antithetical to standards of morality and probity enshrined in our Constitution and expounded by the Supreme Court of India from time to time.”
“The intention of the then speakers to display photographs of renowned, eminent, virtuous leaders of the past inside the assembly was to serve as an example and reminder to all the members of the august assembly that the elected representatives should live and conduct themselves like these leaders whose life is an example of the highest standards of public life.“
“Purity and probity in public life are the touchstones of any democratic setup, and people who have been convicted of the graft are the antithesis of constitutional governance. The speaker’s autocratic, illegal and arbitrary decision to unveil the portrait of Jayalalithaa, a person who is found to be guilty by the Supreme Court of India, is untenable and cannot be countenanced in law or on morality”, he added.