AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa will have to remain in jail for at least six more days as she failed to get any immediate relief from the Karnataka High Court which deferred till October 7 hearing on her pleas for immediate bail in the disproportionate assets case and suspension of the four-year sentence.
With a thick security blanket thrown around the entire court complex, the High Court vacation bench took up the matter for an urgent hearing with Jayalalithaa’s counsel Ram Jethmalani pleading for suspending the sentence pending appeal under Section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code and for her release on bail.
Under this provision, pending any appeal by a convicted person, the Appellate Court may order that the execution of the sentence or order appealed against be suspended. Also, if the person is in confinement, that he or she be released on bail, or on own bond.
Opposing Jayalalithaa’s plea, Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh told Justice Rathnakala that suspension of conviction sought by Jayalalithaa “is not allowed under the law.”
Singh also objected to Jayalalithaa seeking bail under Section 389, saying that “because of the status of the accused, being a former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, she may misuse the liberty.”
Singh also filed a memo about his appointment as SPP in the case. Singh, who was SPP in the Special Court in the disproportionate assets case, had told the court on Tuesday that he had not yet received any official notification appointing him as the SPP.
After a brief hearing in the jampacked court, the judge adjourned the matter to October 7 to be taken up by a regular bench.
In a verdict on Saturday at the end of an 18-year old legal battle, Special Judge John Michael D’Cunha had convicted Jayalalithaa, sentencing her to four years imprisonment, and slapped a staggering fine of Rs 100 crore in the Rs 66.65 crore corruption case.
Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala, her relatives V N Sudhakaran, disowned son of the former Chief Minister and Ilavarasi will also have to spend at least six more days in jail as their petitions for bail and suspension of the sentence were also adjourned till October 7.
In her petitions seeking immediate bail and challenging her sentence, Jayalalithaa has maintained that the charges of amassing wealth against her were false and that she had acquired property through legal means.
Jayalalitha has also contended that the trial court has overlooked several judgements and has not considered the binding nature of various income tax orders and decisions of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, which had accepted the income and the level of expenditure pleaded by her.