All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam General Secretary VK Sasikala on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its decision to convict her in a disproportionate assets case on February 14, PTI reported. Sasikala is currently serving her four-year sentence in Bengaluru’s Parapanna Agrahara prison.
The review petition was filed by Sasikala, her sister-in-law Ilavarasi, and her nephew VN Sudhakaran – who were also convicted and jailed in the case. The plea challenged the apex court’s decision to set aside Karnataka High Court’s 2015 verdict acquitting them.
The corruption complaint was first filed by Subramanian Swamy in 1996 against J Jayalalithaa, who was accused of amassing wealth of over Rs 63 crore disproportionate to her known sources of income when she was the Tamil Nadu chief minister between 1991 and 1996. Sasikala, a longtime personal aide to Jayalalithaa, was also included in the case as a co-conspirator and charges were framed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
According to NDTV, Sasikala in her petition argued that she could not be convicted in the disproportionate assets case, as according to the Prevention of Corruption Act, the charges flow from the public servant – in this case Jayalalithaa in her capacity as the chief minister. Sasikala as a co-accused did not hold public office, and so was only considered part of the case because of Jayalalithaa’s public position.
The Code of Criminal Procedure states that any criminal proceeding against an individual will abate when they die. The same argument was made by Sasikala’s lawyers during the court proceedings. However, this was rejected by the court and Sasikala was convicted.
After the Karnataka High Court acquitted Jayalalithaa and her co-conspirators in the case, the state government had challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court.