Bangalore: With an stroke the Jayalalithaa era of political triumph and power exploded like a bubble and the all-powerful lady has suddenly become miserable. She has fallen to the crest of discomfort after an Special Court held her guilty of amassing money irrespective to her source of Income. Unmarried Jayalalithaa is found deep drowned in the lust of land, cash, jewelry, sandals and sarees.
The Special Court’s verdict case gave a serious blow to her political career. She is known for her resilience and the spirit to fight back. But this time she might find clawing back into positive public perception difficult.
The all expected court verdict has rightly pushed the lady into shame, defame and virtual political oblivion, as she has forfeited her right to be a member of Assembly, she cannot either contest elections for total ten years- four years during her term in Jail and six years after completing her term of prison sentence.
However, she is free to contest the verdict of the Special Court in the Supreme Court. And Supreme Court has already declined to give special treatment to corruption cases for fast hearing. With three other co-accused in the case, Sasikala Natarajan (her aide), disowned foster son VN Sudhakaran and J Illavarasai, were also declared guilty in the case and sentenced to jail for four years and were fined Rs 100 crore each.
Special Court Judge Justice John Michael D'Cunha pronounced the verdict in the afternoon and soon followed it up with the sentencing as well.
All the four accused were tried under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for amassing wealth (Rs 66.65 crore), which was disproportionate to their known sources of income. It includes 2,000 acres of land, 30 kg of gold and 12,000 sarees.
They were convicted for offences punishable under Section 120(B) of the IPC (criminal conspiracy), 13(1) of the Prevention Corruption Act (criminal misconduct by public servants) and 109 (abetment), according to Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh.
The case was registered against Jayalalithaa by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) of Tamil Nadu police in 1996 on the basis of a complaint filed by Subramanian Swamy, who is now part of the BJP.
Apparently, Jayalalithaa appeared dejected with the court verdict and complained of chest pain. She was immediately examined by the doctors appointed by the Special Court.
In the afternoon during the break, she had refused food provided by the court officials. For now, she will be an inmate of the Bangalore Central Jail, as it is not clear whether she will be moved to a different jail or different state.
Sources in the Bangalore Central Jail said that a VIP cell had been set up for Jayalalithaa and she would be assigned the number late evening. They said that if necessitated, Jayalalitha would be taken to the Lady Curzon & Bowring Hospital or Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology for detailed health check-up.
Jayalalithaa was mum but her blind supporters termed it as a political vendetta. They beat the whole day their chests on the roads and Shoed another leader K. Karunidhi Photos.
Her close follower and Tamil Nadu’s Finance Minister O Panneerselvam was present in the court premises. Twice, Jayalalithaa held private talks with Panneerselvam, who is likely to replace Jayalalithaa as the next CM of Tamil Nadu.
Thousands of party workers of AIADMK had arrived in Bangalore anticipating victory for their favorite leader. However, as soon as the verdict was pronounced, the leaders broke down condemning DMK leaders for conspiring against Jayalalithaa. The Karnataka police had beefed up security across Bangalore anticipating trouble. They had to resort to lathi charge to disperse the crowd.
The Special Court has been set up in the Bangalore Central Jail in Parappana Agrahara off Hosur Road, just 25 minutes distance from the Tamil Nadu border. The police had stopped more than 30 buses ferrying AIADMK party workers at the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu earlier in the day to prevent any untoward incident.
The AIADMK had swept the recent parliamentary polls by winning from 37 of the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu.
10-point cheat-sheet to te big story:
1. Ms Jayalalithaa, who is 66, will have to resign as Chief Minister - she stands disqualified as a legislator. The Supreme Court ruled last year that a convicted law-maker can't continue as MP or MLA and shall be disqualified from office.