The much awaited verdict on Jayalalitha’s court case has arrived. She has been acquitted in the case by the Karnataka High court, quashing the special court’s judgement. She and the three others accused, were also acquitted by the High Court.
Celebrations have begun outside the Karnataka High Court, as the news flowed in about the verdict which released Jayalalitha from her jail term and the fine amount of Rs. 100 crores which was imposed by the Special court earlier in September 2014.
Tight security in Bangalore
The Bangalore city police have imposed prohibitory orders around the high court from 6 AM to 6 PM, as a pre-cautionary measure to avoid any law and order problems that might arise due to the pronunciation of verdict. A large number of AIADMK fans are expected to arrive in the city today.
Trial court had sentenced Jayalalitha to four years jail
Having finished one of the longest proceedings, the trial court in Bangalore had earlier pronounced a verdict indicating that Jayalalitha was guilty of accumulating Rs 66.65 crore wealth disproportionately. She was sentenced to jail for four years of jail along with a fine of Rs 100 crore. The Special Court Judge Michael D’Cunha had also imposed a fine of Rs 10 crore for each of the three others namely Sasikala Natarajan (Jayalalitha’s close friend), her niece Ilavarasi and Jayalalithaa’s disowned foster son Sudhakaran (who also happens to be the nephew of Sasikala).
Jayalalitha’s appeal to High Court
Following the judgement, there was a huge uproar in Tamil Nadu, and Jayalalitha immediately approached the Karnataka High court for appeal. The appeal hearing was also marked with twists and turns as the Special Public prosecutor Bhavani Singh was accused of favouring the accused. A petition was filed in the Supreme Court in this regard and the Court felt that having Bhavani Singh as the SPP was “bad in law”. Thus the Karnataka Government immediately requested Mr. B.V. Acharya to take over as the SPP. As soon as Mr. Acharya took over the case, he had filed a written submission asking for the dismissal of the appeals by Jayalalitha and three others.
The Karnataka High Court has delivered the verdict after hearing in the appeal petitions by Jayalalitha and three others. During the course of hearing the appeal for her judgement, Jayalalithaa’s counselors tried to project that the investigation carried out during the DMK government had deliberately over-valued her assets which is what the case is about. Jayalalitha maintained that she had acquired the property, and jewellery through legal means.