The Supreme Court on February 14 found V.K. Sasikala Natarajan guilty in the disproportionate assets case and sentenced her to four years simple imprisonment plus a fine of Rs 10 crore. This meant Sasikala would not be able to stake claim to the chief ministership of Tamil Nadu and the balance would have been firmly in favour of O Pannerselvam, the acting CM, but that was not to be.
Acting immediately, Sasikala held a meeting with AIADMK MLAs at the Golden Bay Resorts in Kancheepuram and did two things. She expelled Pannerselvam from the AIADMK and secondly, chose her loyalist Edappadi K Palanisamy to take over as Chief Minister.
Sasikala will have to surrender immediately and, as per law, she will not be able to be in active politics for the next 10 years. Sasikala, who spent February 13 night at the Golden Bay Resorts in Kancheepuram with her 128-interned MLAs, planning to go on a massive rally of 80 km to the state capital of Chennai if the verdict was in her favour, is now on her way to jail instead.
The police, who had prepared a safety net of hundreds of personnel for her safety if she took out her rally, were immediately mobilised for the arrest and they were seen moving into the resort even as this report was being written.
Proceedings against the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithyaa, who died last year, were abated. Jayalalithaa had been slapped with a four-year sentence and a Rs 100-crore fine.
In a jam-packed court, Judges Pinaki Ghosh and Amitava Roy, simply said that it was a long judgement and that the operative part was that the high court’s judgement has been set aside and Sasikala has to surrender immediately.
—By India Legal Bureau
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Here You Can Read The Full Judgement