Setback for Sasikala as SC restores conviction in disproportionate assets case

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In a major setback for AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala, who was aspiring to be the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, the Supreme Court on Tuesday restored her conviction and four year jail sentence in a disproportionate assets case.

Restoring the September 27, 2014 judgment of the trial court convicting and sentencing her and her two relatives - V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Elavarasi, a bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Amitava Roy set aside the May 11, 2015 Karnataka High Court order acquitting the three and late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

The immediate fallout of the top court verdict is that Sasikala is out of the electoral field for 10 years - four years in incarceration and six years of disqualification under the Representation of Peoples Act after her release.

Restoring the conviction and sentencing by the trial court in "full including the consequential directions", the bench ordered the trial court to take" immediate steps to ensure" that Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Elavarasi "serve out the remainder of sentence awarded them and take further steps in compliance of this judgment..."

The court said that the three would surrender before the trial court "forthwith".

Speaking for the bench, Justice Ghose commended the trial court for being "meticulous, sensitive, vigilant and judicious in appraisal ..." and that "we are of the unhesitant opinion" that the High Court judgment and order "suffers from manifest errors on the face of the record, both on facts and in law and is liable to be set-aside".

Justice Roy, in a concurring judgment, expressed deep concern over the "escalating menace of corruption in society".

The court said that every transaction that was taking place was in the know of each one of them living under the same address.

"The unimpeded, frequent and spontaneous inflow of funds" from the account of Jayalalithaa to those of the "other co-accused and the firms/companies involved, overwhelmingly demonstrate" their "collective culpable involvement" in the transactions ... "the same to be masked banking exchanges though involving several accounts but mostly of the same bank", the court said.

It rejecting the argument that trial suffered from "unfairness and non-transparency".

"True that in course of the investigation, some documents had been seized which were not adduced in evidence being construed to be irrelevant for substantiating the charge, but it did not certainly tantamount to suppression thereof so as to afflict the trial with the vice of unfairness and non-transparency as alleged," the court said.

It also rejected the "off repeated grievance" of the accused that the trial court had left out of consideration material pieces of evidence brought by it, saying "suffice it to state that the decision rendered by it proclaim to the contrary".

"In all the aspects amongst others income, expenditure and assets, the judgment of the trial court reveals on a plain reading that the evidence adduced by the defence as construed to be relevant had not only been taken note of but also analysed and applied for arriving at the conclusions on the issues pertaining to the adjudication," it said in its judgment.

Upholding the trial court directing confiscation of the movable and immovable assets of the accused, as well of properties of six companies owned by the accused, to recover the fine imposed on them, the top court: "In our comprehension, the course adopted by the trial court cannot be faulted with."

"We are of the opinion that the order of confiscation/forfeiture of the properties standing in the name of six companies, as involved, made by the trial court is unexceptionable."

The top court verdict came on an appeal of the Karnataka government that had challenged the state High Court verdict acquitting Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and the two in the case relating to amassing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore during Jayalalithaa's first term as Chief Minister (1991-1996).

Express your comment on this article

Submit your comments...
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are strictly personal and does not hold any responsibility on them. We shall endeavour to upload/publish as many of the comments that are submitted as possible within a reasonable span of time, but we do not guarantee that all comments that are submitted will be uploaded/published. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other members; have obscene, unlawful, defamatory, libellous, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content; or have spam, commercial or advertising content or links are liable to be removed by the editors. We also reserve the right to edit the comments that do get published. Please do not post any private information unless you want it to be available publicly.

Don’t Want a Day… Want a Deal!

I am a Woman and like me, there are countless other women out there who do not want Days to commemo


My heart, my soul and all my sincerity is for this country – Ajiaz Ahmad Sarfaraz

“By serving this great country for more than three decades, I feel that the word ‘great’ fully appl


Teamwork Makes The Dream Work! – Nomaan Sidiq Budroo, Captain of Kuwait U-19 Cricket Team

Kuwait Cricket’s National U 19 team returned home after their best ever performance in the ICC U 19


A Walk in the Garden…

Our garden in Salmiya is an exciting learning-place… Every walk in it, teaches something every time


Take Thoughts Outside Box

"Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?’’ I sighed, when others were busy with Keats, S


‘Be what you are, Do what you can’, a self-confident go getter, N.K. Ramachandran Menon

He believes, ‘No one can influence anyone’. He believes, ‘I can only be me and it is true for ever


How to carry out a winning scientific project?

I have been involved in judging scientific projects in schools and colleges for the past three deca


Extraordinary artist of ribbon work – Mrs Poornima

Hand Embroidery is one of the most beautiful artworks. There are variety of Embroideries which uses


Work hard, but enjoy your job – Ravi Varrier spending 40 years in a company!

Spending long working years with a company may not be a big deal if you are a sincere employee. But


Smart Investing - Diversification is the Mantra: Don’t keep all the eggs in one basket

Investment is an activity which everyone should be involved once they start earning. But where to i


New Menu at Zafran Puts Contemporary Spin on the Traditional

Fans of Zafran can rejoice as the popular Indian bistro launches a new menu this week. The front


A nostalgic and delicious train journey in Kuwait at Kerala Express Restaurant

A train journey during our annual vacation in India is definitely a nostalgic experience for many o


Mughal Mahal Exotica - An aromatic and exotic twist to Indian food

When it comes to Indian food in Kuwait, no doubt ‘Mughal Mahal’ set an example among the residents


Experience Indian Corner Tandoori Nights at Al Manshar Rotana Hotel

Al Manshar Rotana Hotel at Fahaheel, Kuwait launched an authentic Tandoori Night with an Indian cor


Fahaheel English Madrasa wins Shifa Al Jazeera Al-Nahil Soccer Championship Cup

Fahaheel English Madrasa emerges champions in the inter-madrasa soccer championship tournament or


Shifa Al Jazeera Soccer Kerala Fest– 2018 - United Goan Centre (Ugc) Emerge The Champions

United Goan Centre (UGC) on of the oldest Football Club in Kuwait Indian Football Federation, Kuwai


Del Potro eliminates Ferrer at Indian Wells

Sixth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro rose to the round of 16 of the Indian Wells Masters te


U G C 42nd Edition Football 2018 and Interschool Under - 15 Football Tournament

Wednesday,7th March 2018: Last Friday started off with an early morning kickoff of the conclusion t


Kuwait Cricket Concludes AGM in Emphatic Style Kc President Haider Farman Appoints Gibbs as National Coach

Kuwait Cricket, the official governing body for Cricket in Kuwait, conducted their AGM in a specta