CHENNAI: AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala was convicted by a two-member bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The bench upheld the trail court’s verdict that had convicted four persons, including former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
As a result of her conviction, Sasikala has been sentenced to a jail term of four years and stands disqualified under the Representation of the People Act and therefore cannot be chief minister of Tamil
Nadu. She cannot contest polls for six years from the date of her release from prison, which is 10 years hence.
The judgment was delivered on Tuesday morning by a bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy. Both judges delivered separate judgments on the Karnataka government’s appeal against the acquittal of
Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and two other co-accused in the two-decade-old case.
On Monday, attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi had advised the Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao to hold a composite floor test in the Assembly, with the AIADMK general secretary and caretaker CM O
Panneerselvam to see who has the majority MLAs’ support. He had suggested that a special session be convened in a week for the floor test.
Rohatgi felt the Supreme Court judgment in the DA case would further clarify Sasikala’s position for her stake to be CM.
The legal proceedings in the DA case began in 1996 when Subramanian Swamy lodged an FIR before principal sessions judge of Madras. It triggered a battle which has lasted over two decades and came to a close with today’s verdict.
According to charges in the DA case, Jayalalithaa along with three co-accused — Sasikala, Sasikala’s sister-in-law Ilavarasi and Sasikala’s nephew V N Sudhakaran (Jayalalithaa’s foster son who she disowned later) — allegedly acquired assets of Rs 66.65 crore, which was disproportionate to her known sources of income.
The prosecution claimed that while Jayalalithaa was the prime accused, the other three abetted the offence by acting as benami owners of 32 private firms.