Sasikala's counsel meets prison authorities in Bengalur

Sasikala's counsel meets prison authorities in Bengaluru; seeks her early release

Sasikala's legal team feels she should have walked out of the jail in September or early October as she is eligible for a remission of 129 days

V K Sasikala. Credit: PTI file photo.

After paying the fine amount of over Rs 10 crore, the counsel for V K Sasikala on Thursday petitioned the Parappana Agrahara prison authorities seeking ordinary remission for the AIADMK leader so that she walks out of the jail before January 2021.

N Raja Senthoor Pandian, Sasikala's counsel, met the Chief Superintendent of the central prison in Bengaluru and submitted a formal application. Sasikala's legal team feels she should have walked out of the jail in September or early October as she is eligible for a remission of 129 days if one takes into account unavailed leaves during her prison term.

Since they paid the fine amount of Rs 10 crore and ten thousand only on Wednesday due to a slew of factors, including the Covid-19 situation, Sasikala's counsel knocked at the doors of the prison on Thursday. The fine amount was deposited before the 34th city civil court, Bengaluru on Wednesday after which the court intimated the prison about the same.

“I personally met the jail authorities today and submitted a petition seeking ordinary remission for my client, V K Sasikala. She is eligible for remission of 129 days and the petition explains the grounds on which we are seeking her early release,” Pandian told DH.

The Parappana Agrahara prison has already made it clear that the probable date of Sasikala's release is January 27, 2021 provided she pays the fine amount. With the fine amount deposited, Sasikala's legal team feels she should be granted the remission which is given to other prisoners. The team also contends that the Karnataka Prisons Manual does not say ordinary remission cannot be granted to those convicted under Prevention of Corruption Act.

Sasikala, a long-time aide of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, has been cooling her heels in the prison since February 15, 2017. The fine amount was paid by Sasikala's extended family members as four demand drafts with the value of Rs 10 crore and ten thousand were submitted before the court.

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 judgement.

Her release from the jail could be a major political event in Tamil Nadu as her physical presence in the state might alter political equations, especially when the Assembly elections are due in the first half of 2021.