Disproportionate assets case: Jaya files bail plea in Karnataka HC

Jailed AIADMK chief and former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa on Monday moved the Karnataka High Court, seeking bail and challenging her conviction in the disproportionate assets case.

Former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa was convicted in the disproportionate assets case on Saturday. Agencies

Former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa was convicted in the disproportionate assets case on Saturday. Agencies

Jayalalithaa's aide Sasikala, her relatives VN Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi also approached the High Court, seeking bail and challenging their conviction.

The High Court is on Dasara holidays from 29 September to 6 October and the petition may be taken up on Tuesday during a scheduled hearing by a vacation bench.

Since the sentencing is for a period more than three years, only the High Court can grant bail in Jayalalithaa's case.

A stay on the conviction would nullify the disqualification of Jayalalithaa as MLA. Unless the conviction is overturned by a superior court, Jayalalithaa runs the risk of being barred from contesting elections for 10 years - four years when she is in jail and six years after release.

Jayalalithaa is presently lodged in the Parappana Agrahara central jail in Bangalore, as also three others.

On Saturday, Special Judge John Michael D'Cunha convicted the 66-year-old AIADMK Chief in a case of owning assets to the tune of Rs 66.65 crores disproportionate to her known sources of income during 1991-96 when she was chief minister for the first time.

Soon after Jayalalithaa's conviction, violence broke out in several parts of Tamil Nadu as angry AIADMK supporters indulged in stone pelting, arson and forcing closure of shops. Tension prevailed as protesters burnt effigies of DMK chief M Karunanidhi, his sons MK Stalin and MK Alagiri and tore party posters in various places including Chennai and Madurai.

As a consequence of her conviction, Jayalalithaa had to step down as Tamil Nadu CM and her loyalist and Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Panneerselvam was on Sunday chosen to be the next chief minister by AIADMK.

Described as "Mr Faithful", Panneerselvam belongs to the dominant Mudukulathor community and is a trusted lieutenant of Jayalalithaa.

The name of Panneerselvam was understood to have been communicated by Jayalalithaa in the court itself after the verdict was pronounced on Saturday. She also had a long conversation with him in the court before she was lodged in Bangalore jail.

On 14 June, 1996, Subramanian Swamy, then Janata Party leader, had filed a complaint before the Principal Sessions Judge in Chennai alleging that Jayalalithaa had assets disproportionate to her known sources of income.

(With inputs from PTI)

Updated Date: Sep 30, 2014 08:30 AM

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