In a massive blow for AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala Natarajan, the Supreme Court on February 14 convicted her in the disproportionate asset case against her. The apex court has announced a jail term of four years for Sasikala. Additionally, she has also been fined for Rs 10 crore. She will have to surrender in the Karnataka court.
The Supreme Court has ordered Sasikala to serve rest of her jail sentence of three years and six months as she has already served almost six months in jail. Now that she has been convicted, she will not be qualified to be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Additionally, she would not also be allowed to contest elections for 10 years. The Governor can no more invite her to form the government. Yesterday, while addressing the party MLAs Sasikala had said that she had gone to the jail earlier and had no qualms going back to the jail again.
Supreme Court sets aside Karnataka HC’s order and gives #VKSasikala a jail term of 4 years in disproportionate assets case against her.
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 14, 2017
The Supreme Court had earlier said that while acquiring assets “per se” is not a crime unless the sources are found to be illegal. The Karnataka HC in the year 2015 had ruled that Jayalalithaa’s conviction by special court suffered from infirmity and was not sustainable in law. After which she returned as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
The special court had in 2014 held Jayalalithaa guilty of corruption and sentenced her to four years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore. Jayalalithaa and three others were accused of allegedly amassing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs. 66.65 crores during her first term as chief minister from 1991 to 1996.
As the power tussle within the AIADMK party continues to grow, Tamil Nadu politics is in a chaotic state with O Panneerselvam resigning and making way for Jayalalithaa’s long time aide Sasikala. A tug of war had been going on between OPS and Sasikala to claim the throne of Tamil Nadu. Hell broke loose after Panneerselvam openly revolted against Sasikala Natarajan after claiming that he was “forced” to resign by her. However, Sasikala refuted all claims by calling him a “liar” and that he had “betrayed” Amma and the party. While both had challenged each other to prove their majority in the assembly, who will finally be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu was pretty uncertain.