VK Sasikala, the jailed aide of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, has paid the fine of over ₹10 crore that was served on her in a disproportionate asserts case and she is likely to be released earlier than the scheduled release date of January 27, said her lawyer.
The ₹10,00,10,000 fine was deposited at the 34th City Civil Court in Bengaluru via demand drafts, said Sasikala’s counsel N Raja Senthoor Pandian. He said the court is now expected to inform the prison authorities about the payment.
“I expect her to be free soon, earlier than the scheduled release date of January 27, 2021,” Mr. Pandian told news agency PTI.
However, the AIADMK leadership is keen on staying away from her and her MLA nephew TTV Dhinakaran who runs the AMMK party. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami asserted that the anticipated release of Sasikala would not alter the stand of AIADMK to keep her and her kin at bay, both from the party and the government. There shall be no change in the party stand as regards Sasikala, the chief minister said.
Meanwhile, Sasikala’s counsel Mr. Pandian expressed confidence that she would be released “sooner or later” and cited the remission norms for good conduct available for prisoners. He said that the legal processes for the same are on.
Two of the jailed leader’s relatives, V N Sudhakaran and J Elavarasi, are also under simple imprisonment for four years in the assets case; they too have a fine of ₹10 crore imposed on them, in addition to ₹10,000. The process to pay their fine was also being taken up, said Mr. Pandian.
Sasikala had surrendered before the court on February 15, 2017 after the Supreme Court restored the Bengaluru trial court judgment in the case against her and her two relatives, and she has been serving her sentence since then.
Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and two of the latter’s relatives were convicted by a trial court in 2014 on charges including corruption and criminal conspiracy. In 2015, the Karnataka High Court had set aside the conviction of the four. The appeal against Jayalalithaa was scrapped after her death in December 2016.
Following Jayalalithaa’s demise, Sasikala had taken over the reins of AIADMK and even made attempts to take over chief ministership. She had even unseated O Panneerselam, the current deputy chief minister, and instated Palaniswami in the chief minister’s seat.