SC Grants Bail to Jayalalithaa on Health Grounds
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday granted conditional bail to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa on health grounds following her conviction in the assets case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu granted bail to AIDMK Chief Jayalalithaa her aide Sasikala Natarajan and two others on fulfilling bail condition before the trial court.
Jayalalithaa has been in prison after a Bangalore court found her guilty in a disproportionate asset case and sentenced her to 4 years imprisonment on September 27.
The AIADMK supremo, who has been unseated as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister after the verdict, had earlier moved the Karnataka High Court seeking bail but her petition was rejected even though the prosecution said it had no objection to giving conditional bail.
Jayalalithaa then moved the Supreme Court which granted her conditional bail on health grounds.
The court also directed the high court to expedite and complete the hearing on the appeal within three months time.
The court will hear the case on December 18.
The court told senior advocate Fali S. Nariman, appearing for Jayalalithaa, that it will not grant a day more to his client if they don't complete the paperwork of their appeal before the high court with all the documents within a span of two months.
Jayalalithaa and others were refused bail by the Karnataka High Court which held that there were no grounds for granting bail.
The bench asked Nariman within how many months would hearing of her appeal be completed.
Nariman replied that he requires six weeks' time to file the paperbook as it contains 5,000 pages which have to be translated and the hearing can be completed by the high court by the end of January or February next year.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who had filed a complaint against Jayalalithaa after which probe was conducted against her, strongly opposed the bail plea of the AIADMK chief.
He contended that it is an exceptional case and bail be denied to her. He also raised questions on the law and order problem created in Tamil Nadu by her party workers.
The bench, thereafter, asked Jayalalithaa to direct her party workers not to create such problems and said that it will take serious objection if it comes to know that the disturbances are caused by political workers on her instruction.
Jayalalithaa, who was denied bail by Karnataka High Court follo wing her conviction and four year sentence in a graft case, had moved the apex court for bail on October 9.
The AIADMK chief, who has been behind bars since September 27, had challenged the High Court order which had refused her bail.
Jayalalithaa had pleaded that she had been sentenced to only four years jail in the case and she was also suffering from various ailments as grounds for her immediate relief.
The former Chief Minister had also cited grounds of being senior citizen and woman for getting out of jail.
The 66-year-old politician was denied bail by the High Court on October 7 despite the Special Public Prosecutor not objecting to grant of conditional bail to her.
The Special Court had held Jayalalithaa and three others guilty of corruption. The court had also slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on the AIADMK chief and Rs 10 crore fine on each of the three other convicts.
(With PTI inputs)