Sasikala gets 4-year jail, CM dreams shattered

DA case: She can't contest polls for 10 years

Sasikala gets 4-year jail, CM dreams shattered
Dashing her hopes of becoming the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Bengaluru court judgement convicting AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala in a 20-year-old case relating to the acquisition of disproportionate assets by J Jayalalithaa.

A bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy directed Sasikala and her relatives V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi to surrender forthwith to serve a four-year jail term, awarded by the trial court.

The apex court restored the trial court’s verdict passed on September 27, 2014, “in full, including consequential directions”, like payment of a Rs 10-crore fine by the three convicts and confiscation of properties of six firms floated by them.

The judgement shuts the door for Sasikala who staked claim to form the government after being elected as legislature party leader and also faced a revolt from chief minister O Panneerselvam. She now cannot contest any election for the next 10 years as the Representation of People Act disqualifies a convict for six years after serving the sentence.

The apex court set aside the May 11, 2015, Karnataka High Court decision.
The court had had acquitted all the accused in the case as “untenable”.

Allowing the Karnataka government’s appeal, the bench said, “The percentage of disproportionate assets as 8.12% as computed by the HC is based on completely wrong reading of the evidence on record compounded by incorrect arithmetical calculations.”

In his separate judgement, Justice Roy said the facts and circumstances of the case demonstrated “a deep-rooted conspiratorial design to amass vast assets without any compunction and hold the same through shell entities to cover up the sinister trail of such illicit acquisitions and deceive and delude the process of law”.

The bench said the trial court was correct in finding criminal conspiracy and abetment against Sasikala and others in the face of the “overwhelming evidence”.

“The trial court was meticulous, sensitive, vigilant and judicious in appraisal of the evidence,” the bench said after analysing the material.

“We come to the conclusion that A1 (Jayalalithaa) to A4 have entered into a conspiracy and in furtherance of the same, A1 who was a public servant (CM) at the relevant time (1991 to 1996) had come into possession of assets disproportionate to the known sources of her income during the check period and had got the same dispersed in the names of A2 (Sasikala) to A4 and the firms & companies involved to hold these on her behalf with a masked front,” the bench concluded in a 570-page judgement.

The proceedings against Jayalalithaa got abated due to her death on December 5.

The trajectory of 1996 case lodged by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore saw Jayalalithaa step down as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in 2014 after her conviction. It has now sealed the fate of Sasikala, a daughter of a medical compounder, who lived with Jayalalithaa as her aide since 1988.
DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)