Jaya to remain in jail for now

  • Hearing on bail plea postponed to 7th

  • Protests by Tamil film personalities continue

  • She alternates between prison cell, hospital

  • Complains of dizziness, high blood sugar and blurred vision judge John Michael D’Cunha

Jayalalithaa_weepsBangalore, October 1: Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa has to remain in jail at least for a week as the vacation bench of Karnataka High Court has postponed hearing on her bail application to October 7, Tuesday. Jayalalithaa has been in Bangalore Central jail since Saturday on being found by a CBI special court guilty of corruption. The verdict was given by special court judge John Michael D’Cunha. As the prosecution wanted more time for preparation, the court postponed the hearing after admitting the petition.

The 66 year-old Jayalalithaa who was in the middle of her third term as Chief Minister was convicted of corruption in a case that is 18 years old. The case was filed by Dr Subrahmanya Swamy, then Janata Party leader, on June 14, 1996 in a principal session court in Chennai alleging that she had assets disproportional to her know sources of revenue. Jayalalihaa then said the charges were politically motivated.

Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani is appearing for her in Karnataka High Court. In fact, the Karnataka High Court had admitted Jayalalithaa’s petition on Tuesday itself but postponed hearing to next Monday since the prosecution said it needed time to prepared for argument. But Ram Jethmalani who flew from London to appear for Jayalalithaa met the Chief Justice and requested him to have the hearing the next day. It was thus scheduled for hearing on Wenesday by a vacation bench. But as the prosecution repeated its request, the judge has postponed hearing to next Tuesday. The High Court has Dasara vacation from 29 September to 6 October. Beside Jayalalithaa, her aide Sashikala and her relatives Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi also applied for bail.

In the meanwhile, actors, directors and film producers in Tamil Nadu observed hunger strike on Tuesday in Chennai as a protest against arresting a popular politician like Jayalalithaa. Jaya’s supporters in Chennai and Madurai burnt the effigies of DMK supremo K Karunanidhi and his sons Stalin and Alagiri. Jayalalithaa’s party, AIADMK, won 37 out of 39 Lok Sabha seats in the general elections in May and is the third largest party in Parliament. Her conviction meant automatic disqualification as a legislator and so as Chief Minister. She had to step down. Her staunch loyalist O Panneerselvam took over on Monday as the new CM. Pannerselvam was CM for six months in 2001-02 when Jayalalithaa was jailed in the wake of Supreme Court judgment.

Jayalalithaa’s trial was transferred from Chennai to Bangalore in 2001 to ensure that her party’s influence in her home state would not hinder justice. Tamil Nadu goes for Assembly elections in 2016.

A stay on conviction would nullify disqualification of Jayalalithaa as an MLA. Unless a superior court reverses the ruling of the CBI special court, Jaya would run the risk of getting barred from contesting elections for ten years.

Jayalalithaa, prisoner 7402 has been alternating between her VIP cell number 23 and the prison hospital where she was admitted after complaining of dizziness, blurred eyesight and high sugar levels. She has to put up with health problems and other inconveniences at Parappan Agrahara Jail here till a decision is taken on her bail petition on 7 October 2014.

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