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Sasikala to walk out of jail in January?

Sasikala’s release from jail could be a major political event in TN as her physical presence in the state might alter political equations
Last Updated : 15 September 2020, 05:58 IST
Last Updated : 15 September 2020, 05:58 IST
Last Updated : 15 September 2020, 05:58 IST
Last Updated : 15 September 2020, 05:58 IST

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Jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, long-time aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, will be able to walk out of the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru on January 27, 2021 if she pays the fine of Rs 10 crore.

The probable date of release is mentioned in an RTI reply given by R Latha, Public Information Officer and Superintendent, to T Narasimha Murthy of Bengaluru to a question on Sasikala’s release. However, N Raja Senthoor Pandian, Sasikala’s counsel, said he was confident that his client would be out of jail by the end of this month.

“I hereby inform you that as per prison records convict prisoner Sasikala's probable date of release is 27-01-2021 provided the in-default fine amount is paid as awarded by the Hon’ble court. Further, her ‘probable date of release’ would be 27-02-2022 if the fine is not paid,” Latha said in her reply. She also added that Sasikala’s probable date of release would vary if she utilises the parole facility.


Pandian told DH: “We have arranged Rs 10 crore to be paid before the jail authorities. We are ready to file an application seeking her release. We have got everything ready and we have a strategy. I still maintain that I am hopeful that madam Sasikala will walk out of the Bengaluru jail this month.”

He said Sasikala was “entitled for ordinary remission” and if all her non-availed leaves are counted, she should be released by the end of September. “If she does not get ordinary remission, this will be the first time that someone has been rejected that right. The Karnataka Prisons Manual does not say ordinary remission cannot be granted to those convicted under Prevention of Corruption Act,” Pandian added.

The counsel said there was nothing new in the RTI reply as the date given was calculated after deducting the days, she spent in jail in 1997 and 2014. “She spent 35 days in jail in 1997 and 2004 and had availed parole for 18 days in two instalments in October 2017 and March 2018. If one add the 35 days and subtracts the 18 days from the total days spent, the date of release is January 27, 2021,” Pandian explained.

Sasikala surrendered before the jail authorities on February 15, 2017 after her conviction in the disproportionate assets (DA) case was confirmed by the Supreme Court. Jayalalithaa was also an accused in the case, but her conviction was set off as she died two months before the judgment.

The reply comes weeks after the Income Tax department moved to seal over 60 properties owned by Sasikala through her benamis. One of them includes a sprawling campus just opposite to Jayalalithaa’s palatial bungalow in upscale Poes Garden.

Sasikala’s release from jail could be a major political event in Tamil Nadu as her physical presence in the state might alter political equations, especially when the state stares at assembly elections in the first half of 2021.

Sasikala, who was elected as AIADMK legislature party leader, could not be sworn in as Chief Minister after incumbent and party colleague O Panneerselvam rebelled against her. Before she went to jail, Sasikala got Edappadi K Palaniswami elected as the leader of the AIADMK and he eventually became the Chief Minister.

However, Edappadi and his colleagues sacked Sasikala's nephew, T T V Dhinakaran, from the party and welcomed Panneerselvam back into their fold. Sasikala still remains a primary member of the AIADMK.

Palaniswami and Panneerselvam now run the AIADMK jointly and the party has been maintaining that Sasikala’s release will not impact them.

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Published 15 September 2020, 04:26 IST

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