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Karnataka HC grants bail to Jayalalithaa

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday granted bail to former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa in the 18-year-old corruption case for which she was last month sentenced to a four years in jail, along with a Rs 100 crore penalty. This, after the prosecution said it has no objection to granting conditional bail

The bail plea, which was filed by top lawyer Ram Jethmalani on behalf of the AIADMK chief, was made on medical grounds as the former chief minister has claimed to be acutely diabetic. Her lawyer said that she is also suffering from blood pressure and heart-related ailments.

Jethmalani argued that former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, too, had been released on bail by the Supreme Court after being convicted in the fodder scam.

The Special Public Prosecutor Bhavani Singh argued Jayalalithaa is an influential person who, if granted bail, may try to escape from conviction to which Jethmalani responded that Jayalalithaa is a law abiding citizen and would not flee the country.

Earlier in the day, the Court declined to accept Jethmalani’s request to listen to Jayalalithaa’s case on a priority basis; the hearing then took place as scheduled — 72nd out of 80 listed cases for the day.

The High Court vacation bench had on October 1 deferred till October 7 pleas of Jayalalithaa and her close aide Sasikala and her relatives VN Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, who were also convicted in the case, to be taken by a regular bench after the end of the Dasara vacation.

On September 27, a special court had found Jayalalithaa and her aides guilty of amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income in a five-year period during which she was chief minister of Tamil Nadu. In that period, when the AIADMK supremo was reportedly earning a token Re 1 as salary, her assets went from Rs 3 crore to Rs 66 crore.

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