A special court in Tamil Nadu on Monday convicted state minister Balakrishna Reddy in connection with a 1998 case for damaging public property. The court, set up to handle cases against MPs and MLAs, sentenced Reddy to three years in prison and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000, The News Minute reported.

However, the court granted Reddy, who handles the sports portfolio, bail following the judgement and suspended his sentence pending trial in a higher court. But Reddy is liable to be disqualified as a legislator following his conviction.

Reddy resigned from the Tamil Nadu Cabinet following his conviction, and will appeal against the order in the Madras High Court on Tuesday, The Indian Express reported. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit accepted his resignation. Based on the recommendation of Chief Minister E Palaniswami, Purohit reallocated the portfolio of youth welfare and sports development to Thiru KA Sengottiyan, who is the state education minister. Sengottiyan will keep the education ministry.

The case pertains to a protest near Hosur in 1998 against the brewing of spurious liquor in the region, where a mob allegedly pelted stones at government vehicles and police vans following the death of 30 people. The protestors were also accused of arson. Reddy, who is a leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party at the time of the protest, The Times of India reported.

Apart from the AIADMK leader, the court also sentenced 15 other accused to three years in jail.