Jailed AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa filed a petition on Monday in the Karnataka High Court challenging her conviction and seeking bail in the disproportionate assets case against her.
The 66-year-old leader sought relief two days after a Special Court here sentenced her to jail for four years, as a fallout of which she lost her Assembly membership and consequently Chief Minister’s post.
Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala, her relatives V N Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi also approached the Court, seeking bail and challenging their conviction in the case.
The three were also sentenced to four years of jail term and fined Rs 10 crore each on Saturday last by Special Judge John Michael D’Cunha, who has slapped a staggering fine of Rs 100 crore on Jayalalithaa in the 18-year-old Rs 66.65 crore corruption case.
In the landmark judgement that saw the first conviction of a sitting Chief Minister in a corruption case, all the four were held guilty of amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income under the Prevention of Corruption Act and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.
The High Court is on Dussehra holidays from September 29 to October 6 and the petition may be taken up on Tuesday during a scheduled hearing by a vacation bench.
Since the sentencing is for a period more than three years, only the High Court can grant bail in Jayalalithaa’s case.
A stay on the conviction would nullify the disqualification of Jayalalithaa as MLA. Unless the conviction is overturned by a superior court, Jayalalithaa runs the risk of being barred from contesting elections for 10 years – four years when she is in jail and six years after release.
Jayalalithaa is presently lodged in the Parappana Agrahara central jail in Bangalore, as also three others.