The Supreme Court today smashed VK Sasikala’s dream to become the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and sent her jail for four years. The apex court convicted her and others in the disproportionate property case.
The court also barred her from holding public office or contesting elections for 10 years and she was also fined Rs 10 crore.
In that 21-year-old case, the former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was also convicted. Today, Sasikala was not present at the sentencing in New Delhi, the court asked her to immediately surrender to the police.
Apart from Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran will also serve 4 years sentence and pay Rs 10 crore.
The bench said, “Since the charges framed by the trial court have been restored against all of them they will surrender forthwith before the trial court and serve the remaining part of the sentence.”
In 1990, Jayalalithaa and Sasikala were accused of profiting from the chief minister’s office and owning several bungalows, luxury cars, eight tonnes of silver, nearly 30 kg of gold, tea estates and thousands of saris which couldn’t be bought through their salaries.
Back then, Jayalalithaa was a budding politician and Sasikala was running a video parlour. This was the start of their long friendship.
In 2014, both were sentenced to jail but were acquitted on appeal after serving 21 days behind the bar.
AIADMK selected Sasikala for the chief minister post. She was due to be sworn in last week. But Panneerselvam opposed and her dream was beginning to be shattered. This led a bitter battle between the duo.
After the SC verdict, Sasikala nominated senior AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami as party general secretary. Palaniswami is a four-time MLA and minister for highways and ports.
Minutes after Palaniswami taking charge, he moved to expel Panneerselvam from the AIADMK. He also expelled 19 others including school education minister K. Pandiarajan and former ministers P.H. Pandian, K.P. Munusamy, P. Mohan, C. Ponnaiyan and Natham R Viswanathan.
After his expulsion, Panneerselvam has urged the legislators of AIADMK to “sink differences, work together and keep the party united to continue Amma’s good rule.”
He said, “Amma’s atma is still around us and will guide us on the right path…Amma’s good governance and people welfare programmes will continue and follow the path of Amma.”
Panneerselvam told the people that the AIADMK will form a government without the help of any other party.
Opposition parties termed the verdict as “historical”.
DMK working president MK Stalin said, “Justice has been restored. Now the Tamil Nadu Governor should take steps to have a stable government in the state.”
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said, “I was expecting the conviction. I don’t think she can escape the four years sentence.”
Congress leader P Chidamabaram stated, “I have no comment on the judgement. It is a SC judgement and we are all bound by the judgement.”
The court also gave four years imprisonment to Sasikala’s nephew and niece who had earlier been acquitted by a lower court.