The demise of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who is accused in a disproportionate assets case now awaiting judgment in the Supreme Court, would lead to her abatement but the case would go on against the other accused — Sasikala Natarajan, Ilavarasi (Sasikala’s sister-in-law) and Sudhakaran (Jayalalithaa’s foster son, who she later disowned).
Legal sources said the demise of one of the accused does not mean that the case gets closed. “The case is very much alive, as the other accused are alive” said a senior lawyer practicing at the Madras high court.
In the Rs 63 crore assets case, judgment is pending in the Supreme Court on a petition of the Karnataka government challenging the Karnataka high court acquittal of all four in the case. Jayalalithaa was alleged to have acquired properties worth Rs 63 crore, way above her known sources of income between 1991 and 1996.
Arguments of both sides are over and the Supreme Court may pronounce judgment at any time, the lawyer said adding now the case is at a stage when the Apex court is to give its final order. It may be recalled that a trial court in Bengaluru had convicted Jayalalithaa in the case and sentenced all the accused to four years imprisonment in September 2014, following which she was jailed. She was also imposed a fine of `100 crore.
She has to quit the post of chief minister. It was only after the Karnataka high court reversed the trial court order that she could return as the chief minister.
The Karnataka government had gone in appeal against the High Court verdict and arguments are over. The SC had reserved the judgment in the month of June.