At Jaya ‘s Residence in Chennai, Celebrations Give Way to Tears
CHENNAI: Joy and anticipation turned to shock and grief in seconds on Tuesday evening as news came in that the Karnataka High Court had rejected bail for J Jayalalithaa, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. Less than an hour before the verdict, celebrations had begun at Ms Jayalalithaa’s residence in Chennai after the prosecution said in court that it had no objection to the politician being given conditional bail. Happy supporters said they were now sure their leader would be out of jail and back home soon. The smiles soon turned to tears as supporters wept when they learnt that she would not be free soon.
J Jayalalithaa, 66, has been in jail for the last nine days. She was arrested on September 27 on corruption charges after being sentenced to four years in prison and has been penalized Rs. 100 crore; three of her aides, including live-in friend Sasikala Natarajan were also found guilty.Her conviction meant that she had to step down as Chief Minister and has been replaced by a loyalist O Paneerselvam.
The AIADMK chief had appealed against her conviction by the trial court and sought bail. She says she has been wrongly convicted of misusing her first term as chief minister from 1991 to 1996 to collect assets worth nearly Rs. 50 crore, which were incommensurate with her declared income.The trial was moved in 2001 to neighbouring Karnataka from Tamil Nadu to ensure it would be free of political influence.