HC Denies Bail To Jayalalithaa: Is It The End For Amma?

HC denies bail to Jayalalithaa, The Karnatak High Court today gave no relief to the Amma of politics, J Jayalalithaa, and denied her bail.

When you will try to look into the retrospective, the teary oath taking ceremony of Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam will look like a possible yet clear indication of the future.

The Karnatak High Court today gave no relief to the Amma of politics, J Jayalalithaa, and denied her bail. The former Tamil Nadu CM is in jail for serving a four year term after conviction in a 1995 disproportionate assets case. Her aides are also serving jail terms for the same.

Reportedly, the HC relied on the Supreme Court’s stand on the issue to justify denying Jayalalithaa bail. The court said that the SC had previously sent a clear message when it ordered fast tracking of graft cases. The court also called corruption a violation of human rights.

Jayalalithaa was denied bail due to lack of sufficient grounds. Her lawyer told media that they intended to approach the Supreme Court for bail. Interestingly, barely an hour ago the whole Tamil Nadu had erupted in celebrations after it was erroneously reported that Jayalalithaa got conditional bail from the court.

Jayalalithaa’s counsel is Ram Jethmalani who, on October 1, had pleaded for suspension of the sentence pending appeal and for release on bail. The vacation bench of the High Court had on 1 October deferred till 7 October pleas of Jayalalithaa, her close aide Sasikala and her relatives VN Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, who were also convicted in the case, to be taken by a regular bench after the end of Dasara vacation.

In her petitions seeking immediate bail and challenging her sentence, Jayalalithaa had maintained that the charges of amassing wealth against her were false and that she had acquired property through legal means.

Jayalalithaa was convicted on September 27 by Special Judge John Michael D’Cunha who had sentenced her to four years imprisonment, and slapped a staggering fine of Rs 100 crores in the corruption case. Sasikala, Sudhakaran, disowned foster son of the former Chief Minister, and Elavarasi were also sentenced to four years in jail, besides a fine of Rs 10 crore each.

Here is a chronology of the case:

Dec 7, 1996: Jayalalitha arrested. Many allegations follow, including accumulation of disproportionate assets.

1997: A prosecution launched in Additional Sessions Court in Chennai against Jayalalithaa and three others for having assets “disproportionate” to their known income.

June 4, 1997: Amma charge-sheeted for offences under Sections 120-B IPC, 13(2) read with 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

October 1, 1997: Madras High Court dismisses three petitions by Jayalalitha including one challenging sanction granted by then Governor M Fathima Beevi for prosecuting her in the wealth case.

2000, Trial progresses: By august 2000, 250 prosecution witnesses examined, only 10 more remained.

May 2001: AIADMK secures absolute majority in assembly elections and Jayalalitha becomes Chief Minister. Her appointment is challenged due to her conviction in October, 2000 in the TANSI (Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation) case. SC nullifies the appointment.

September 21, 2001: Jayalalithaa ceases to be Chief Minister.

2002: After her conviction is set aside, Jayalalithaa is elected to the Assembly in a by-poll from Andipatti constituency on Feb 21, 2002, and again sworn in as Chief Minister. Three public prosecutors resign as also senior counsel. Several prosecution witnesses resign from their earlier depositions after AIADMK returned to power.

2003: DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan approaches Supreme Court for transferring the trial to Karnataka on the ground that a fair trial was not possible in Tamil Nadu with Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister.

November 18, 2003: The Supreme Court transfers the case to Bangalore.

2011:  Appearing before the court four times, Jayalalithaa had answered more than 1,000 questions in closed door hearings during which she had maintained that the case was “political vendetta”.

September 27, 2014: Convicted under the prevention of corruption act for disproportionate case in Bangalore by the Karnatka high court. Arrested and sentenced four years to jail.

So should we think this is the end of Amma’s political career?

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