Will Jayalalithaa be Acquitted? 4 Factors That Her Case Hinges On

Here is a round-up of the most important factors her possible conviction or acquittal depends on.

2 min read
Will Jayalalitha be acquitted? Or is it more jail time for the former Tamil Nadu CM?  (Photo: Reuters)

Ahead of the Karnataka High Court’s verdict on Monday, politicians and supporters of AIADMK are waiting with bated breath for the judgement. Here is a round-up of the most important factors her possible conviction or acquittal depends on.

1. Proof of conspiracy between Jayalalithaa and the three other accused Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran

In his judgement, Sessions Court Judge Michael D’Cunha accepted that the living arrangements of all four accused and multiple transactions involving them were factors establishing conspiracy. But Justice Kumaraswamy, who is hearing the appeal at the Karnataka High Court asked the prosecution, “What is the conspiracy here?” observing that Sasikala had been living with Jayalalithaa even before the latter became Chief Minister.

“Proving conspiracy is vital to the case. In the 32 firms that were started by the four accused, Jayalalithaa is a direct partner in just two. It is the prosecution’s case to prove conspiracy by showing the cash and cheque transactions that involved all the accused,” a senior lawyer told The News Minute.

2. Integrity of Namadhu MGR subscriptions

Jayalalithaa’s lawyers have consistently argued that a bulk of the wealth, Rs 13 crore, was mustered through cash deposits ranging between Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 18,000 made by common AIADMK supporters for subscribing to Namadhu MGR, the party mouthpiece.

D’Cunha rejected this theory, stating that defense had not produced any material proof to prove that Namadhu MGR had floated a deposit scheme inviting subscriptions from the general public.

Whether the defence has managed to convince the High Court about the subscriptions is crucial to the case as it accounts for a major portion of the Rs 55.79 crore disproportionate wealth.

(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

3. Foreign remittance as birthday gifts

Legal experts say that even if the defence convinces the court that Jayalalithaa had nothing to do with the 30-odd companies listed in the case, and manages to convince the judge about all the other properties, the foreign remittances in her account will prove to be a sticky issue.

Slamming Jayalalithaa’s argument that she received Rs. 2 crore and foreign remittances as birthday gifts, D’Cunha noted that these gifts were received only after she became the CM and therefore created serious doubts. He considered these gifts as illegal income.

4. Massive expenditure in Sudhakaran’s wedding

Jayalalithaa’s foster son Sudhakaran’s wedding in Chennai in 1995, which political opponents and commentators have called an ugly display of wealth, is also a crucial element in the case. In his judgement, Justice D’Cunha pegged the total expenditure of the wedding around Rs 8 crore, and expenses borne by Jayalalithaa alone at Rs 3 crore.

Jayalalithaa’s lawyers have insisted that she spent only Rs 50 lakh , which was understandable given her wealth then was Rs 9 crore. The rest of the expenses were borne by Sivaji Ganesan’s family according to her lawyers.

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