In what came as a big setback for AIADMK’s interim general secretary VK Sasikala, Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected her review plea, seeking her bail in a disproportionate assets case.
With all legal options running out, a curative petition is another option the Tamil Nadu politician can now resort to after the rejection of her review plea, but a curative petition is rarely effective once Supreme Court has scrapped out a review plea.
Dismissing the review petition by Sasikala and her two relatives, the bench of Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice Amitava Roy said: “We don’t find any error in the common judgment, much less an apparent error on the face of the record, so as to call for its review.”
“The review petitions are accordingly dismissed.”
The top court had on February 14 restored the conviction of Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Elavarasi in the disproportionate assets case, with the bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose (since retired) and Justice Roy setting aside a Karnataka High Court order acquitting the three and late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Setting aside the High Court order, the top court restored the September 27, 2014 judgment of the trial court convicting and sentencing Sasikala and the other two.
The top court verdict had come on an appeal of the Karnataka government challenging the May 11, 2015 High Court verdict acquitting Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and other two in a case for amassing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore during Jayalalithaa’s first term as Chief Minister from 1991 to 1996.
Sasikala who has been convicted in Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara Central prison was sentenced for 4-years of imprisonment after being found guilty in a Rs 66 crore disproportionate case.
Following the conviction Sasikala along with AIADMK leader VN Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi filed a review petition seeking re-examination of the verdict.
Criticizing the conviction Sasikala and the two relatives had said that the latter is not a government servants and the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act doesn’t validate on her which is why her conviction is wrong.
Meanwhile the power battle inside AIADMK after the death of J Jayalalithaa in December 2016 is far from over even as the two rival factions — one led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and the other led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam — merged in one; only to upset VK Sasikala’s nephew, TTV Dinakaran who has now threatened to topple the government if the party seeks any decision against Sasikala.
According to reports IADMK has 135 MLAs in the 234-member House. One seat is vacant. With Dinakaran enjoying the support of 19 MLAs, the unified AIADMK will have 117 MLAs which is one short of the simple majority.
(With inputs from IANS)