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Supreme Court convicts Sasikala in DA case, asked to surrender immediately

The Supreme Court on Tuesday convicted AIADMK general secretary Sasikala in the more than a decade old disproportionate assets case. The court verdict put an end to her bid to become the Chief Minister of the state. Upholding the trail court order, the SC set aside the High Court judgment which had acquitted Sasikala and former chief minister Jayalalithaa in the case. “Nevertheless, we reiterate that having regard to the facts, the charge framed against them by the trial court is restored,” the bench said.The court asked Sasikala to surrender immediately. SC, however, abated the appeal proceedings against Jayalalithaa owing to her death on December 5 last. All the convicted persons will have to serve the remaining part of the sentence.

“Since the charges framed by the trial court have been restored against all of them they will surrender forthwith
before the trial court and serve the remaining part of the sentence,” the bench said.

Reacting to the SC judgement, Sasikala said, “In the past whenever Amma was in crisis, I also suffered. This time also I will take it upon me. Justice will prevail.”

The SC bench, comprising of two judges – Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy – directed Sasikala and her two relatives V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi to surrender forthwith to the trial court in Bengaluru and serve the remaining part of four-year jail term. The trial court had sentenced Sasikala and her two relatives to four years imprisonment with a fine of Rs 10 crore each. Jayalalithaa was sentenced to four years with a fine of Rs 100 crore.

According to the charges filed, former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa allegedly conspired with the co-accused Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran to amass assets to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore,which was disproportionate to her known sources of income. The prosecution alleged that while Jayalalithaa was the prime accused, the other three abetted the offence by acting as benami owners of 32 private firms.

The court verdict has come at a time when Sasikala is fighting a bitter public battle with caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam for the control of the party. The internal crisis is threatening to split the AIADMK with each camp laying claim to Jayalalithaa’s legacy. After Panneerselvam resigned from the post a few days ago, Sasikala was set to become the chief minister of the state. But Governor C Vidyasagar Rao did not invite her to form the government.

Source: Indian Express

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