Jayalalitha ’s plea to be heard on Wednesday

  • Posted to Wednesday for hearing
  • Ram Jethmalani to lead a battery of lawyers to defend Jaya
  • Jaya has to continue her stay in B’lore Central Jail
  • Panneerselvam, 30 other ministers take oath crying
  • New CM to function from his old office, not to occupy CM’s chambers

Kasipathi

Chennai, September 30: Karnataka High Court today admitted Jayalalithaa’s plea for a bail and posted the case to Wednesday for hearing. Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa who is presently lodged in the Central Jail here will have to continue to stay in the jail till her petition for bail and reversal of the CBI special court’s judgment is disposed off. At the first instance the lady judge considering Jayalalithaa petition had fixed the hearing on Monday next basing on the request by the prosecution lawyer. But when Jetmalani asked the judge to hear the petition as soon as possible in view of the importance of the person who pleaded for bail, the judge agree to change her decision and hear arguments on Wednesday.

Jayalalithaa who was found guilty of corruption in the disproportional assets case, first filed by Dr Subramanian Swamy and later pursed by the rival DMK, was given a sentence of four years in jail and penalty of Rs 100 crore by the special court. She was accused of indulging in corruption during her first tenure as CM in 1991-1996. Her staunch loyalist O Panneerselvam took over as CM of Tamil Nadu on Monday along with 30 other ministers. He placed a photograph of his reverend leader Jayalalithaa on the lectern before taking oath of office and secrecy. It is the second time for Panneerselvam to replace his leader when she is trouble, the first time being in 2001 when Jayalalithaa had to step down in the wake of Supreme Court’s decision to convict her in a corruption case. After the amendment to People’s Representation Act last year, once a public servant is convicted he or she would automatically forfeit the right to hold public office and get disqualified to remain a member of legislature. Jayalalitha has the dubious distinction of stepping down twice from the post of chief minister owing to the courts finding her guilty of corruption. Panneerselvam was CM during 2001-2002 for six months till Jayalalithaa got a reprieve from the court. This time, his tenure depends on the decisions by courts of law. Panneerselvam who was finance minister in Jaya’s cabinet before taking over as CM visited Bangalore jail yesterday to take his leader’s blessings. He and his ministerial colleagues were in tears while taking oath administered by Governor K Rosaiah in Chennai Raj Bhavan. The governor also appeared saddened by the developments. The new chief minister would be functioning from his present office of finance minister and would not occupy the CM’s office which was used by his mentor out of respect for her.

Famous lawyer and former Union Minister Ram Jethmalani would be leading a battery of lawyers on Monday to appear for Jayalalithaa in Karnataka High Court when it would examine her plea.

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