Bangalore Court convicts TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
A special court in Bangalore yesterday convicted Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram, in an 18 year old, Indian Rs.66.65 crore
disproportionate assets case, the Indian Media reported. After finding
her guilty on all counts, the AIADMK leader has been served a four-year
jail term and a Rs 100 crore fine.
The case against her was filed by Dr.Subramanian Swamy, senior BJP
Leader in 1996 and was pursued by her arch rival, the DMK subsequently.
Jayaram was a champion of the Eelam cause and an alleged LTTE
sympathiser. The Hindu in a live coverage reported that the incumbent
Chief Minister had been convicted of all charges by the Special Court.
Three of her associates Sasikala Natarajan, her niece J.Ilavarasi and
her nephew V.N.Sudhakaran were also convicted in the case heard by
Special Judge John Michael D'Cunha.
The verdict was delivered at a makeshit court in the Parappana
Agrahara prison complex in the presence of Jayalalithaa and the other
It has been ruled that 66-year-old AIADMK Chief owned assets
disproportionate to her known sources of income during 1991-96 when she
was chief minister for the first time. Jayaram's lawyers had argued that
prosecution had undervalued her earlier assets, ignored other income and
exaggerated her assets.
Since the incumbent leader has to resign after the verdict, Tamil
Nadu may have to appoint a new Chief Minister, although there were two
more years to the next election, media reports said.
She is the first serving Chief Minister in India to walk into jail in
a corruption case.
Her lawyer said they will appeal the verdict in the High Court and
The AIADMK Chief is expected to be arrested immediately and put under
judicial custody. Even if the sentence is for four years the Chief
Minister will not be allowed to contest in another election for six
years. During the court proceedings, there was unprecedented security
provided at DMK Minister's residences in Chennai and parts of Tamil Nadu
had suffered a blackout.
The court case was transferred to Bangalore in 2003 by the Supreme
Court on a petition filed by DMK leader K.Anbazhagan, who expressed
doubts over a fair trial in Tamil Nadu.
Following the verdict, the AIADMK supporters have taken to the
streets and pelted stones at business establishments and buses. Stones
have also been pelted at Dr.Swamy's house in Chennai.
Her conviction will have huge ramifications in Tamil Nadu politics.