Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Jayalalithaa Will Stay in Jail For Now, Bail Plea Rejected

Jayalalithaa Will Stay in Jail For Now, Bail Plea Rejected
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa (Press Trust of India photo)
Bangalore:  J Jayalalithaa will stay in jail for now. The Karnataka High Court rejected the former Tamil Nadu chief minister's bail plea, saying the Supreme Court had sent out clear message that corruption cases should be put on fast track.
  1. Ms Jayalalithaa, 66, who was handed a sentence of four years in prison by the trial court, says the charges against her are politically motivated. She had appealed in the High Court for "immediate bail." Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani is representing her.
  2. On last Wednesday, October 1, a vacation bench of the High Court had adjourned hearing of her bail plea to today. Court re-opened today after vacations.   
  3. The prosecution had objected to her bail on grounds that she is an influential person and could manipulate the court case. It also said she and other accused could run away. The politician has said that she is unwell. She is diabetic.
  4. Ms Jayalalithaa, who heads the AIADMK which rules Tamil Nadu, was in the middle of her third term as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister when she was convicted in the 18-year-old case. She was found guilty of misusing her office during her first stint from 1991 to 1996, to accumulate vast wealth that could not be accounted for by her declared sources of income.
  5. Along with the prison term, the court has levied a Rs. 100 crore fine on Ms Jayalalithaa. The cash and fixed deposits that she and three other accused have will be used to pay the fine. In case it falls short, the court has ordered the state to liquidate their jewellery.
  6. Her conviction meant automatic disqualification as a legislator and she had to step down as chief minister. In Chennai, her loyal aide O Panneerselvam, 63, took over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu last week, breaking down as he took oath.
  7. Ms Jayalalithaa's arrest triggered large protests in her state. Workers of her party, the AIADMK, wept as they protested outside the homes and offices of the rival DMK, which had pursued the case against her. The AIADMK, which swept Tamil Nadu in May's general election, is the third largest party in Parliament.
  8. The Bangalore police had tightened security in and around the High Court and at the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, where Ms Jayalalithaa is lodged, today, anticipating the entry of many AIADMK supporters and leaders into the city.
  9. Ms Jayalalithaa is Prisoner No 7402 at the jail. Her trial was transferred to Bangalore to ensure that her party's influence in her home state would not influence the case.
  10. Tamil Nadu votes for its next government in 2016. Unless Ms Jayalalithaa's conviction is overturned by a higher court, she would not be able to contest the state election.