Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi also given four years’ imprisonment, fined Rs. 10 crore each
An epic 18-year-long legal battle ended in less than five minutes on Saturday. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo Jayalalithaa arrived at the Parappana Agrahara complex as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. By the time the curtains were drawn on the dramatic day, she had lost her post after having been found guilty of corruption.
It took only five minutes for the Special Judge trying the case, John Michael Çunha, to pronounce the order convicting the four accused.
The three-time Chief Minister was sentenced to four years’ simple imprisonment and a Rs. 100-crore fine was imposed on her for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Her co-accused — Sasikala Natarajan, V. Sudhakaran and J. Elavarasi — were sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with a fine of Rs. 10 crore each.
In consequence, Ms. Jayalalithaa stood disqualified as an MLA and lost her position as Chief Minister. She would now be barred from contesting elections for the period of conviction plus six years — a total of 10 years.
Despite a plea for lenient punishment from Ms. Jayalalithaa, who cited her health and age, the judge took the view that such “serious” charges of corruption should be dealt with strictly.
He directed the court Registry to communicate the verdict to the Tamil Nadu Governor and the Speaker of the Assembly.