The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala's acquittal by the Karnataka High Court in the Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case and "restored in full" the trial court conviction of September 2014.
A Bench of Justices P.C. Ghose and Amitava Roy also set aside the acquittal of her two co-accused J. Ilavarasi and V.N. Sudhakaran and restored their conviction in the case. The SC said the appeals filed by Karnataka government and others, including DMK leader K. Anbazhagan, against the former Chief Minister has abated after her death on December 5, 2016.
The Supreme Court ordered Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran to surrender forthwith before the trial court concerned.
Even after Sasikala comes out after serving her four-year sentence, she would be disqualified to contest elections for the next six years as per the Supreme Court judgment in Lily Thomas versus Union of India of July 2013. The voluminous main judgment authored by Justice Ghose held that the trial court conviction of the three accused — A2 to A4 — on September 27, 2014 has been restored in full along with the consequent directions, including payment of fine and attachment of properties.
The trial court had sentenced Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran under Section 109 IPC read with Section 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act — abetment of criminal misconduct of a public servant — to simple imprisonment for a period of four years each and pay a fine of Rs. 10 crore each. In case of default, they would have to further suffer imprisonment for another year.
For the offence of criminal conspiracy leading to criminal misconduct of a public servant (Section 120 (B) IPC read with Section 13 (2)) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, all three were sentenced to simple imprisonment for six months and a fine of Rs. 10,000 each.
Special Judge John Michael Cunha had ordered the attachment properties held by Indo-Doha Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd., Signora Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., Ramraj Agro Mills Ltd., Meadow Agro Farms, Riverway Agro Products.