It was a day of intense dramatics as Jayalalitha’s bail plea was being heard in the Karnataka court on Tuesday.
The former chief minister’s supporters waited with bated breath for the verdict, to see their favourite leader out on bail. And when several local channels flashed the news of a conditional bail being granted, they erupted in celebrations – distributed sweets and burnt firecrackers, too. AIADMK supporters had thronged the party headquarters and her residence in Chennai, not to mention the crowd outside the court premises.
However, the good news was short-lived.
What actually happened was that Special Public Prosecutor had told the court that the prosecution had no objection in the former chief minister getting conditional bail. This was wrongly interpreted and the news channels broke the news of a ‘conditional bail’, reported freepressjournal.
When the crowd learnt that the news was false, they went berserk vandalizing restaurants, stopping buses and shouting slogans.
While partymen sat on hunger strikes demanding their leader be granted bail, there were scores of others seen eating food from the ground to forming human chains in protest.
A large number of policemen have been deployed across the town, reported ToI.
Court denies bail, supporters wail
An Indian court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of a former film star turned politician jailed for corruption last month after a judge ruled she could not have afforded her lavish lifestyle on her modest salary.
The judge said there were no grounds to release Jayalalithaa Jayaram, who was jailed for four years and fined one-billion rupees ($16 million) for illegally amassing wealth including gold, properties, shoes and saris.
"The Supreme Court (has) clearly indicated that corruption violates human rights and leads to economic imbalance," said the judge, Justice A.V. Chandrashekara, as he gave his ruling.
Television footage showed crowds of supporters wailing and throwing their arms in the air in despair in Tamil Nadu, the prosperous southern state that she led until her conviction.
The politician has appealed against her conviction.
Jayalalithaa has been criticised for her extravagance, but who inspires huge loyalty in Tamil Nadu, where she is known simply as "Amma", or mother.
Her AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) party emerged as the third biggest force in the national parliament after elections in May.
The 66-year-old won over voters after handing out freebies including electric blenders, goats and small amounts of gold.
As Jayalalitha’s bail plea comes up for hearing today, her party workers are seeking Divine intervention.
More than 100 followers performed special pujas, tonsured their heads and organised an all-faith prayer meeting in front of the Bangalore Central Jail where she has been lodged.
Police officials were caught unawares with the sudden surge of crowd.
Even kids performed prayers for her release, reported indiatoday.
No cosmetics; only brown bread and milk
Jayalalitha’s bail plea is expected to be taken up tomorrow, even as the ex-chief minister who was lodged in the prison hospital for the first three days has got used to the prison schedule.
She is currently in the VVIP cell in the women’s barracks and is treated “like any other prisoner”, reported indiatoday.
Jail officials said Jayalalithaa wears her own sarees, and not the jail uniform because she is serving a simple imprisonment. She does not use any cosmetics, either.
She has tasted jail food and has often ordered milk, biscuits, brown bread and chapatis whenever she is hungry. However, she has been permitted to get food cooked by her personal staff from outside, the report added.
Will VIP inmate of Agrahara Prison meet Abdul Naser Madani?
The former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalitha, will be confined to the VIP cell of Parappana Agrahara prison in Bangalore till Tuesday, as her bail plea has been adjourned by the Bangalore High Court till Monday.
The arrest and imprisonment of the heroine of the Tamil film industry turned chief minister, has kicked off a heated chain of activities in South India.
Social networking sites are flooded with comments on the irony of history whether the new VIP inmate of Parappana Agrahara Jail in Bangalore will meet prisoner number 8362, ie. Abdul Naser Madani, who has been confined to the prison for nearly ten years, until he was released on bail recently for treatment of chronic diabetics due to the intervention of the Supreme Court of India.
Abdul Naser Madani was arrested in an alleged bomb blast case in Coimbatore and his supporters said many attempts to prove his innocence or appeals before Jayalalitha to give bail were denied.
The partially blind Abdul Naser Madani was like a skeleton, when he was released on bail one and half months ago, after the Supreme Court intervention.
Supporters and human right activists in the state of Kerala as well in the Gulf have said it is an irony of history that the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu who for several years vehemently opposing several bail pleas by the family of Abdul Naser Madani, Chairman of Kerala, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was now in the same jail.
“We are happy that now Madani is undergoing treatment in Bangalore hospital for diabetics and renal and eye sight problems. His bail plea has been extended for one more month by the Supreme Court. We hope he will be shifted to Kerala for further treatment and we are approaching the Supreme Court of India,” said Elias Thalassery from the Friends of Abdul Naser Madani group.
The former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister will be occupying a VIP Prison cell, adjacent to the one in which Abdul Naser Madani, was living for several years
“Everybody is keenly watching whether the new inmate of Agrahara jail will get a chance to meet Abdul Naser Madani,” added another supporter.[By VM Sathish]
An Indian film titled ‘Amma’ has caught the attention of the South Indian movie industry and distributors in the wake of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s conviction in the disproportionate assets case.
'Amma' is a multi-language film based on the life no jailed Jayalalitha.
Ragini Dwivedi, who is playing the role of Jayalalithaa in the film, said movie buffs and distributors are keen on the film content owing to the recent developments in the Tamil leader’s political life.
Owing to the recent developments the movie is going to have a different climax, as against the previous one.
Director Faisal Saif has been busy tweaking the climax of the film ever since a special court in Bangalore convicted Jaya in the Rs 65.66-crore (INR) disproportionate assets case.
The movie will be released in five languages - Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam.
How will Jaya pay her Dh60 million fine?
AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa was awarded 4 years jail term and was asked to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore (Dh59.8m) in the disproportionate assets case.
In the order the judge says in default to pay the fine amount, she shall undergo further imprisonment for one year, reports thenewsminute
The judge then explains how the fine is to be paid. He says the fine will first be taken as proceeds of the fixed deposits and the cash balance of the respective accused in the bank accounts.
He has asked the concerned banks to remit the proceedings which will be adjusted towards the fine.
The two main bank accounts which were used were Central Bank of India, Canara Bank, Bank of Madurai, amongst others.
He further says that if there's a shortfall between what is available and what is due, then gold and diamond ornaments seized and produced before the court shall be sold to RBI, SBI or by public auction.
During the course of the investigation 7040 grammes of gold were seized.
Should there be excess money after all the said transactions are completed, the same will be forfeited to the government.
He has also asked that Rs. 5 crores be given to the government of Karnataka for reimbursement of cost of trial.
Jayalalitha will have to remain in jail for at least six more days after she failed to get any immediate relief from the Karnataka High Court, which deferred until October 7 a hearing on her plea for immediate bail.
Hospital ward ready; rumours of heart problems
Jayalalitha’s bail plea that will now come up for hearing on Monday [October 6] cites her health conditions among other reasons.
Her appeal said that she is suffering from diabetes and hypertension due to the pendency of the case for 18 years.
Meanwhile, Bangalore police chief on Tuesday took to Twitter to squash rumours about her ill health, according to an indianexpress report.
“Some Kannada news channels are showing that Kum. Jayalalithaa is unwell and having heart problem. THIS IS NOT CORRECT”, he tweeted.
He explained that prison officials have followed rules and have written to two hospitals to keep a ward ready as precaution. Whenever there is a Z+ security person in the city, police informs a couple of government hospitals to have a ward ready as a precaution. The same protocol was followed in Jayalalitha’s case, too.
He called upon public not to pay heed to rumours of her ill health.
Special chair for back-ache; No bail today
Jayalalitha, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, will continue to stay in jail for now as the Karnataka High Court adjourned a hearing on her bail plea, today [Tuesday]. It will only be taken up on Monday.
Jayalalithaa had filed a bail application citing that full arguments were not heard and the fine imposed was too heavy.
As she spent the third night in jail the volatile situation in her home state began limping back to normalcy.
Transportation resumed on the roads and there were no reports of violence. Her trusted aide also took over as the new chief minister. Interestingly, most of the ministers broke down while taking oath. Pictures of them are circulating on social media with sarcastic captions. One @firstpostin read:
"Mirror mirror on the wall. Who's the saddest of them all? Which AIADMK MLA is saddest at their swearing in ceremony?"
Meanwhile, the flow of visitors to meet her in person continues unabated. Earlier on Sunday, security officials at the prison refused to allow her ministers take a wired chair for her as she suffers from back ache, reported thehindu.com
Jayalalitha’s party men thronged the jail premises seeking permission to meet their leader. They raised slogans and police had to chase the crowd away using mild force to bring the situation under control.
On Saturday, the three-time Chief Minister was sentenced to four years’ simple imprisonment and a Rs.100-crore fine was imposed on her for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The three co-accused were sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with a fine of Rs. 10 crore each.
Meanwhile, co-accused V. Sudhakaran was admitted to the hospital in the prison after he complained of unease on Sunday morning.
Jayalalitha in jail, Day 2: Prisoner No 7402 refuses to eat jail food
Jayalalitha who was sentenced to four years in jail on Saturday after being found guilty of amassing wealth of more than $10m which was unaccounted for during her first term as Chief Minister between 1991 and 1996, spent her second night in Bangalore jail as prisoner number 7402.
The second day saw her in the jail hospital after she complained of increasing sugar levels, reported ToI.
Her day began at 5.30am with limewater and a morning walk within the jail premises. After which, she read five newspapers – three Tamil and two English – and underwent a regular medical check-up.
Breakfast, comprising idli, vada and sambhar, was brought from outside. Jail authorities reportedly gave her permission to have home-cooked food as she didn’t want to have pulav served in prison. However, her co-accused had prison food. While, for lunch she had chapatti and curd rice.
Earlier on Saturday night she had refused to eat prison food and chose fruits instead.
She is lodged in a separate cell [Number 23] in the women’s wing and has managed to get more facilities than what the prison manual authorizes. The 66-year-old former chief minister has a 12x8 sq ft enclosure, with two chairs, a table and a cot, while the rule provides only 50sqft of ground space per prisoner. She also has a fan and television and a multi-layered security ring, including women guards.
Similarly, she wasn’t wearing the prisoner’s uniform and was not seen working, a source was quoted as saying.
28kg gold, 750 pairs of shoes, 10,000 saris... now Jayalalithaa in jail, Day 1
Former film star Jayalalithaa Jayaram, one of India's most colourful and controversial politicians, held crisis talks inside jail on Sunday after her conviction in a corruption case, an aide said.
Jayalalithaa, 66, who enjoys a cult following in the southern state of Tamil Nadu that she has long governed, was jailed for four years on Saturday over the case that has lasted nearly two decades.
A judge in the southern city of Bangalore found Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu's chief minister, guilty of amassing illegal wealth in the case that she has always dismissed as being politically motivated.
She spent the night in a cell in Bangalore's main jail in a extraordinary transformation of fortunes for the woman known as "Amma" (Mother) to her fans, whose ministers have been known to prostrate themselves before her.
Jayalalithaa, who was also fined one billion rupees ($16 million), met in jail with a group of senior lawmakers and officials from her All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) about choosing a new chief minister, a party official said.
Jayalalithaa is now disqualified from holding the top job, although she is expected to appeal to the High Court this week to seek her release from jail, according to reports.
"As our supremo, Jayalalithaa has advised cabinet colleagues and party leaders to convene a meeting of all lawmakers in Chennai later in the day and elect a leader to serve as our chief minister," the AIADMK official told AFP.
"Jayalalithaa wants a new leader to take over at the earliest for continuation of administration and to assuage the hurt feelings of lawmakers and thousands of party cadres across the state over the verdict," said the official, who did not want to be named.
Jayalalithaa was still expected to play a key role from behind bars in running Tamil Nadu as well as the AIADMK, the third biggest force in the national parliament.
An Indian court on Saturday convicted Jayalalithaa Jayaram, a former film star who became one of the country's most colourful and controversial politicians, in a corruption case that has dragged on for nearly two decades.
The chief minister of the prosperous southern state of Tamil Nadu was charged with amassing illegal wealth in 1997, when police seized assets including 28 kilos (62 pounds) of gold, 750 pairs of shoes and more than 10,000 saris in a raid on her home.
Prosecutors said her assets, which reportedly included two 1,000-acre estates in the lush tropical state she ran, were vastly disproportionate to her earnings during her first term as chief minister, which ran from 1991 to 1996.
Jayalalithaa was found guilty of "amassing wealth disproportionate to known sources of her income," prosecutor G. Bhavani Singh told reporters outside the makeshift court in the southern city of Bangalore where she was convicted.
Singh said the judge may sentence Jayalalithaa later Saturday and that she could face up to seven years in jail.
But Indian media speculated that Jayalalithaa, who runs the third largest party in India's national parliament, would have to resign as chief minister after the verdict regardless of the sentence.
Hundreds of party loyalists had come to Bangalore to show support for their leader, and many were in tears after the verdict.
"She will come out victorious, she will come out stronger," one supporter told NDTV news channel.
The 66-year-old politician enjoys huge popularity in Tamil Nadu, a manufacturing hub, where she is known to her fans simply as "Amma" (Mother).
Her AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) party emerged as third biggest force in the national parliament after winning 37 of the 39 parliamentary seats in the state in this year's general election.
Police on alert
Jayalalithaa and her supporters have always maintained that corruption charges against her were political motivated.
She has earned the loyalty of people in the southern state with a series of highly populist schemes including an "Amma canteen" that provides lunch for just three rupees (five cents), although she has also drawn accusations of an autocratic governing style.
Her comments during the election campaign that it was time for a change in New Delhi raised speculation that her party could act as kingmaker to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, although in the end, his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won an outright majority.
Nevertheless, she is regarded as an ally of the prime minister, and her conviction will come as a blow to the government.
Jayalalithaa took over the leadership of the AIADMK party after the death of its founder M. G. Ramachandran -- her on-screen love interest in multiple movies.
She is now on her third term as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, where she draws massive support, and police were on high alert for protests after Saturday's verdict.
Three close associates of Jayalalithaa were also found guilty of corruption, Singh said.
All four defendants were present when the judge delivered the verdict in a makeshift courtroom set up at the main jail in Bangalore, India's southern technology hub.
The case was held in Bangalore rather than Tamil Nadu for security reasons and there was a heavy police presence as the verdict was delivered, with authorities fearing clashes between rival political supporters.