BANGALORE: Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday filed an appeal in the High Court challenging the special court’s judgment against her in an 18-year-old disproportionate assets case. The matter is likely to come up for hearing on Tuesday.
Last Saturday, the special court sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore. In the appeal, Jaya and the three others convicted - Sasikala Natarajan, V Sudhakaran and J Ilavarasi - sought bail, suspension of the sentence and a stay on the conviction. They contended that they had furnished all details to the authorities every year in their Income Tax returns.
They said that of the 594 witnesses, just 251 had appeared before the court the first time. When they were asked to re-appear, only 222 appeared. Of them, around 200 witnesses gave statements against the prosecution but the judge did not consider their statements as most of them were government servants.
The petition said keeping Jaya in prison would put Tamil Nadu’s finances at risk. Senior Supreme Court advocate Ram Jethmalani is likely to represent Jayalalithaa while Bhavani Singh will continue to be the Special Public Prosecutor.