The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s bail petition on Friday.
Jayalalithaa, who was denied bail by the Karnataka high court following her conviction and four-year sentence with Rs 100 crore fine in a disproportionate assets case, had moved the Supreme Court for bail on October 9.
The 66-year-old AIADMK chief, who has been behind bars since September 27, has sought relief citing that she is suffering from various ailments.
The former chief minister also cited grounds of being a senior citizen and a woman for getting out of jail.
She was denied bail by the high court on October 7 despite the special public prosecutor not objecting to grant of conditional bail to her.
The high court had also rejected the bail pleas by Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala and her relatives VN Sudhakaran, disowned foster-son of the former chief minister, and Ilavarasi, who have also been sent to four years in jail in the 18-year-old case.
All four were found guilty of acquiring Rs 66.65 crore worth of assets by corrupt means between 1991 and 1996 — during Jayalalithaa’s first tenure as CM.
The ruling in the 18-year-old disproportionate assets case dealt a blow to the AIADMK chief, disqualifying her as CM and effectively putting her out of the electoral arena for 10 years.
According to provisions of the Representation of the People Act, a convicted person cannot contest elections for six years beginning from the date of completion of sentence.
There could, however, still be hope for Jayalalithaa because there is an escape route. The Supreme Court has said a convicted person can contest an election if his/her conviction and sentence — both are stayed by a superior court.
Plea for shifting Jayalalithaa to Chennai jail in SC
A petition has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking direction to shift J Jayalalithaa to Central Prison, Chennai, from a Bangalore jail where she has been lodged after the conviction in the graft case.
The petition, filed by a journalist, submitted the transfer of a prisoner from one prison to another was permissible under law and allowing the plea to transfer the AIADMK chief from Parappana Agrahara in Bangalore to Central Prison, Chennai, would help maintain public order.
The petition said the transfer of the trial from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka had a specific purpose — to see to it that the trial was conducted in a fair and transparent way — and after the judgment that purpose no longer survived.
The journalist sought shifting the former CM to Chennai jail by citing several incidents of bandhs and strikes and loss of lives and property after the verdict.
Further, the petition raised the sensitive issue of Cauvery river water-sharing dispute between the two states for transferring her to Chennai jail.
The issue is likely to be raised when the apex court hears Jayalalithaa’s bail plea.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu had on October 13 posted the case for hearing on October 17 after senior advocate Fali S Nariman pleaded with the court to “accommodate” the case in this week itself.
(With inputs from Agencies)