Jayalalithaa acquitted in DA case in Karnataka High Court
The Karnataka High Court has acquitted former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case.
As ruling AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) workers in Tamil Nadu, which remained on edge, organised ‘poojas’ in temples and took out processions praying for a favourable judgement, the Bangalore police clamped prohibitory orders in one km radius of the High Court from 6 AM to 6 PM (IST) on Monday besides beefing up security, PTI reported.
The Bangalore police is anticipating arrival of thousands of AIADMK supporters from Tamil Nadu on Monday.
It will be a high-stake test as the judicial outcome could swing the political fortunes either way for the ruling AIADMK supremo and alter the political course in Tamil Nadu which will go to Assembly polls in about a year.
According to legal circles, 67-year old Jayalalithaa need not be present in the court when the single judge bench of Justice C R Kumaraswamy delivers the judgement, just a day ahead of the three-month deadline set by the Supreme Court to complete the hearing on appeals by her and three others.
The court will decide on the appeals filed by Jayalalithaa and three others against the Special Court Judge Michael D’Cunha’s September 27 last verdict sentencing them to four years in jail and imposing a hefty fine of Rs 100 crore on her and Rs 10 crore each on three others.
An acquittal would enable a big political comeback for Jayalalithaa, who has waged many legal battles and seen several ups and downs in her political career.
An adverse outcome, on the other hand, would accentuate uncertainty and cause more worries about the future of the AIADMK leader and her personality-based monolithic party.
She will remain disqualified under the Representation of the People Act from contesting elections for a period of 10 years–four years from the date of conviction and six years thereafter, unless a superior court sets aside the conviction.
During the hearing of the appeal, Jayalalithaa has contended that the then DMK government-led investigation had deliberately over-valued her assets and she had acquired the property, including jewellery, through legal means.
Women party workers in several parts of Tamil Nadu took out traditional “milk pot spiritual procession” in many places, lamps were lit in temples and coconuts offered as part of prayers “for the return of Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister”.
AIADMK mouthpiece “Dr Namadhu MGR” said “the time for our Puratchi Thai (Revolutionary Mother) to sit on the chariot of governance is coming here tomorrow,” adding, “Till then, little foxes may howl,” in comments apparently targeting DMK.
Police in Salem said strict vigil is being maintained on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border, especially in the Hosur area.