Jayalalithaa stays in jail, protests continue to rage in Tamil Nadu
Jailed former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa will have to stay in prison for at least six more days as the Karnataka High Court Wednesday posted for October 7 hearing on her pleas for suspension of the sentence and immediate bail in the disproportionate assets case.
When the matter came up before the vacation bench judge Justice Rathnakala, Jayalalithaa’s counsel Ram Jethmalani pleaded for suspending the sentence pending appeal under Section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code and for her release on bail.
Section 389 states that 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.
“In my considered opinion, this is a matter to be heard by the regular bench,” the judge said.
During the brief hearing, Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh filed the objections to Jayalalithaa’s pleas and also a memo about his appointment as the SPP in the case.
Singh, who was SPP in the special court in the disproportionate assets case, had told the court Tuesday that he had not yet received any official notification appointing him as the SPP for the criminal appeal filed in the High Court.
As Singh sought more time, the judge had first posted the matter for hearing on October 6, which was later rescheduled for Wednesday following pleas by Jayalalithaa’s counsels.
Immediately after the judge adjourned the case to next week, a large contingent of Jayalalithaa supporters protested outside the high court
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 for October 7.
The High Court is on Dasara holidays from September 29 to October 6. October 7 is also a government holiday on account of Bakrid.
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.
Protests continue in Tamil Nadu; 19 dead
One more person died Wednesday in an act of suicide after being apparently upset over Jayalalithaa’s conviction in the disproportionate asset case as protests against her conviction continued across the state for the fifth day.
A 55-year-old farmer died at the government hospital in Nagapattinam, three days after he consumed poison at his house in Oorkuthi village near Nagapattinam, police said.
With this, the toll of those believed to have died in various parts of the state unable to bear the four-year jail term awarded to Jayalalithaa since September 27 has risen to 19.
Though AIADMK activists harboured a ray of hope on their leader’s possible release after their lawyers’ wing managed to get the vacation bench to hear Jayalalithaa’s bail petition, they were disappointed as the case was adjourned shortly after it was taken up for hearing by the judge.
Protests continued in various parts of Chennai and elsewhere in the state, with party workers displaying posters and display boards, demanding release of their ‘Amma.’ AIADMK’s student wing also joined the protests organised by other branches of the party in Chennai, while the IT wing held a human chain near the party headquarters.
A report from Tiruchirappalli said AIADMK workers continued their fast for the fifth day near Anna Statue, pressing for release of their leader. Similar protests were reported from various parts of the district.
Representatives of Cable TV operators’ Association, Brick Kiln Owners Association and trade unions associated with AIADMK also observed a fast at Namakkal.