Police stepped up security on Tuesday in Chennai and at the luxury resort where AIADMK legislators are being allegedly held captive by party general secretary VK Sasikala ahead of the Supreme Court verdict in a disproportionate assets case against her.
A bench of justice PC Ghose and justice AK Roy are expected to deliver the verdict in the 21-year-old corruption case in which former chief minister J Jayalalithaa is also an accused.
The two judges will pronounce separate judgments and a split verdict could help Sasikala, who is locked in a bitter power tussle with acting chief minister O Panneerselvam.
If convicted, Sasikala will be barred from contesting polls for six years. She will be ineligible to be the chief minister as the Constitution mandates election to the assembly within six months of assuming office.
According to police, some 10,000 police personnel have been deployed in the city as well as inside 20 locations, including the Raj Bhavan, Poes Garden resident of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, Greenways Road residence of chief minister O Panneerselvam, the secretariat and other buildings to prevent any untoward incident.
Police anticipate violence after the verdict and have taken all preventive measures. Officials said at least 500 people have been taken into preventive custody across Tamil Nadu amid reports that some people may have come into the state from Karnataka and Kerala.
Chief minister O Panneerselvam had revolted against Sasikala on February 5 saying he was forced to resign by the general secretary and her relatives. Since then, he is gaining the support of the people, cadres, MPs and few MLAs.
The chief minister claims that he would prove his majority on the floor of the House if given a chance and has urged the governor that he be allowed to take back his resignation.