BANGALORE: Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, sentenced to four years imprisonment in a disproportionate assets case, failed to get bail from Karnataka High Court on Tuesday.
There “are no grounds” to give bail as corruption amounts to “violation of human rights” and leads to economic imbalance, Justice A V Chandrashekhara, who pronounced the order, observed.
Earlier, Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh told the court that he had no objection to grant of conditional bail to Jayalalithaa, who is in prison here since her conviction by the Special Court on September 27.
As word of Bhavani Singh’s stand spread outside, AIADMK supporters outside the court and those who had gathered near the Parappana Agrahara jail, where Jayalalithaa is lodged, anticipating her release burst crackers.
But their joy was short lived. When the verdict came, they went into a state of disbelief. Jubilation gave way to wailing by the women, while men lay on the ground shouting slogans.
“My client will take a call,” senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, who appeared for Jayalalithaa, told PTI, after the verdict when asked whether they will approach the Supreme Court.
In his submissions, Jethmalani sought immediate bail citing the Supreme Court verdict granting relief to former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam. The court did not accept the submission; the judge noted that Lalu Prasad had spent 10 months in jail before being granted bail by the apex court.
Jethmalani also pleaded for suspension of the sentence by the Special Court pending appeal under Section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code, under which pending any appeal by a convicted person, the appellate court may order that the execution of the sentence or order appealed against be suspended. Also, if the person is in confinement, that he or she be released on bail, or on own bond.
Observing that corruption had become a “serious malady in human history”, the judge noted that the Supreme Court has repeatedly directed that graft cases should be disposed on top priority basis.
He held that there is no reason to extend the benefit of suspension of sentence to the four accused, including Jayalalithaa.
Citing a court judgment, Justice Chandrashekara said “the suspension of sentence and grant of bail cannot be asked as a matter of routine (saying) that the accused was on bail during the trial and did not misuse the liberties granted.” Justice Chandrashekhara said corruption had to be dealt with seriously as otherwise “it will become a disease in our society.”
The SPP had earlier filed objections to suspension of the sentence and bail in writing but on Tuesday told the court during hearing that conditional bail could be granted to Jayalalithaa and three others. Pleas by Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala and her relatives V N Sudhakaran, and Ilavarasi, for suspension of the sentence and bail were also rejected by the court.
Likely to Challenge Order in SC Today
New Delhi: Jayalalithaa and three others are likely to move Supreme Court on Wednesday challenging the Karnataka High Court order of refusing bail to them.
Counsel for the AIADMK leader Ram Jethmalani is preparing the grounds of appeal to be filed in the supreme court.
“We will not only challenge the bail order but will also challenge the trial court ruling that has overlooked several judgments and has not considered the binding nature of various income tax orders and decisions of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, which had accepted the income and the level of expenditure pleaded by her,” her lawyer added.
‘No Friction Between State and TN’
Siddaramaiah on Tuesday brushed aside the rumours that the ongoing Jayalalithaa case has caused friction between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. “There is no friction. The High Court is following the orders of the Supreme Court, which cannot be questioned. There have been rumours that Kannadigas in Chennai are being threatened. It is the duty of every state to protect its citizens,” he said.